IGI AYEDUN: Are you architect?
ANTOINE ESPINASSEAU : Yes, I am.
IGI: In your images, exist some influence of architecture?
AE: Yes, I think. But the majority of my friends – who give me feedback about my work – are architects also, leaving the common cultural background in architecture is hard. I don’t know if the fact that I am an architect is naturally exposed to other people or not. Even believing that the architecture is very present, even without knowing how or when.
IGI: Are you a photographer?
AE: Yes, I believe. Although still not exact.
IGI: Do you consider yourself a photographer of architecture or a lifestyle’s photographer?
AE: I confess that exist in a photography a way of life – almost natural – touch me a little. I see myself more and more thrown on the history of each character that I can tell in a inert way, than by a point of view.
IGI: Do you draw too?
AE: Yes, I draw.
IGI: But you draw more than shooting?
AE: Wow .. If I make more drawings than photos? In fact I believe that I like the idea that drawing, photography and architecture are different medias. But for me, they always start the same thing. Even though the practices of photography and illustration are quite different, with different questions and reflections. But at the end … I may not feel comfortable talking about that … For example, the last drawing I did – which is called ‘ La montagne Bleue’ – for me it’s very architecture. Because it is an artificial mountain that I reworked and covering an architectural hyper topic. So much so that when I made this image I really had not the impression of illustration, but the architecture.
IGI: But there is a time when the practices are together?
AE: Yes, yes.
AE: For example, ‘La Montagne Bleue’ and architecture are super close.
IGI: Is it more a question of vision than technique? Or the opposite?
AE: No, I think it is technically very different and that’s what I like!
IGI: But when I say technique, I talk about the outlook, how you see things and life within a space. Maybe you have a point of view of an architect in your images …
AE: Not only. I think that architecture is a bit like my parents, a reference. But which determines a time of permanence so we can discover and see new things and change slightly the vision of family has taught us. And thus, the architecture has been against my pictures! A bit like when your mother gives you some advice you never know if you going for or against.
IGI: So the architecture is the place where you live and the arts who you are?
AE: Maybe so.
IGI: Or the art is where you live and the architecture who you are?
AE: No, I choose the first option.
IGI: The first?
AE: Yes, because today I’m always trying to leave where I live. Not that architecture is not important, I can’t deny that, but I have to be free.
IGI: Then, your formation is?
IGI: Your formation is?
AE: Hm … Architect?
IGI: Your formation is?
AE: Oh, it’s a question? A new question?
AE My formation is … Well I would love to build it …
AE: Particularly nowadays, the architecture is a little sad. When I was studying, I learned that the tone and way of doing architecture was the architect. I think to draw or shoot is my way of making architecture.
AE: Oh, I do not know. I don’t know, but talking about my drawings and photos, to me these are a reflection about architecture. Even if an offer is not the architecture.
IGI: But this is very subversive!
IGI: And are things which you believe and only you know …
AE: I hope not! I think there are not enough places in the world inside the artistic practice to really talk about architecture and the architect. When you want to see the sea is easier to be on the beach, than in water. When you swim you will not really see the sea, while on the beach – with a distance – is much easier to see, even if you can’t swim.
IGI: And that’s the architecture?
AE: The sea is the architecture, the beach – I do not know exactly what it is – but the distance can be photography, drawing … I don’t know yet. Maybe that’s why I look over the beach.
IGI: For me I can see many architectural visions in your photos, but simultaneously there is a lot of feeling.
AE: Yes, feeling, yes.
IGI: Because to me you are not an architect and perhaps an artist, or Imagist …
AE: I like Imagist!
IGI: Do you think you got a problem with 3D? With things you can touch, smell, or to come and live there …
AE: I don’t know well. But on the history of the sea and the beach, I prefer to think about things from a distance. Has a Japanese film by the same author of “Aniki, Mon frere ‘… What is the name … Oh, Kitano! Have already watched Kitano? I don’t usually like Japanese movie in general, but in this film there is always a distance from view of the subject and the images that are produced are very close, though made from far away. Things and the subject become nearly artificial. And I was awake face of this question of 3D – the reality -and image – 2D – that through the dimensions you can see a bit of distance from between things, I really enjoyed it! Do you know?
IGI: Hhhh ..
AE: For example, I don’t like shows. I feel badly in shows, I can’t get inside the collective emotion of appreciation. Maybe I like, but I don’t go! The last big show that I went I was sick …
IGI: Perhaps this is the opposite of the work of observation and voyeurism of photography …
AE: Maybe but … I really like theater. Because the theater – even if there is an involuntary communication – exist an artificiality accepted. Do you watch the actions of the actors who together tell a story.
IGI: It will be a matter of rhythm?
AE: No, I think it is perhaps more a question of how to accept reality, do you know?
IGI: It will be a matter of punctum? Do you know the concept? A word that comes from the Latin that left one of the first observations from the study of aesthetics and has the studium as totally the opposite …
AE: Oh yeah, you’re talking about Barthes … Roland Barthes, I don’t understand but I really would love to understand.
IGI: But I could say it’s the same difference?
AE: I do not know the word adequately to be able to say that. I think funny, because I never talked much about the history of the show and the theater to reflect, but I think it’s important because I always try to attach the situations to my place _. I really like this part of the architecture – more about urbanism – dealing with the distance from reality and setit to watch … Maybe it’s a bit coward but …
IGI: Are you a coward?
AE: Not … Yes, maybe. But I really like making things, for example I’m always more in my place than around the action. Do you know?
IGI: A little …
AE: Must be why I should quit _ of the architecture because …
IGI: Are you a coward!
AE: Maybe. In fact I think I have courage but I am not active.
IGI: So you prefer to think than making?
AE: No, I like to make.
AE: Yes, more imagine – we can say.
IGI: More to imagine than to be?
AE: Maybe a little more. I mean, what interests me greatly is the distance betweenimagination and reality. Not that I prefer the imaginary, or that I’d rather be in reality but I appreciate the very both distances. I prefer when the two things are really away from each other while the reality produces the imaginary and imaginary back to reality. And I think to compress both is so violent.
IGI: What do you prefer between the beginning, middle and end?
AE: I prefer the middle.
IGI: And maybe fly?
AE: Yes, this is a problem for …
AE Yes, you got.
IGI: Perhaps the fact that your preference for the middle and enjoying the space between things means that you don’t like any kind of decision so fatalistic …
AE: I really like this story of decision, is an excellent question to think about, because I spent too much time of my life really obsessed by indecision. Really obsessed! And this created a big problem with my ex-girlfriends – in off – and so I come back to question the show and the theater, because a show has a band and even if I like the frontman I don’t want it to be the most important .
IGI: Don’t you like to pick a stereotype then?
AE: I like stereotypes, I think beautiful, but I don’t like to choose.
AE: I don’t know if you going write everything in your interview, I should have said a lot of bullshit too.
IGI: Okay, I’m not going to show you before publishing. And then, tell me the last memory of your childhood?
AE: Funny you ask me. Last night I watched Three Life and had plenty of images that made me remember my childhood. And to answer the question …. The last image of my childhood? Maybe it was yesterday, mmh?
AE: I think you’re a bit Peter Pan!
IGI: Maybe I be a Peter Pan, who will never grow. For example, I remember having fallen once and have won an exchange of affection by my family and maybe that’s the last reminder of my childhood. Something else mimimimi. And I’m still very close to it. Do you know? All these questions of architecture, about wanting about the image has little to do with my current situation. And maybe that is why this memory is more recent. And this question is great because it speaks of a season in which everything, everything was possible. It’s crazy! When you have ten years you still able to do everything.
IGI: And then, the last reminder of maturity?
IGI: Either have you not yet considered mature?
AE: I think I’m too young and yet very mature. At maturity we do everything naturally without a chastisement, an expression which here we call the garde-fou, as something that could numb my unconscious side and don’t drive me insane. I’m on this journey.
IGI: Are you sure?
AE: Yes, yes I do.
IGI: A beautiful moment that you saw and you were without the camera?
AE: I always forget my camera. It’s is always in my bag, but when I picked up the moment has gone away.
IGI: The last thing you lost forever?
AE: A pelicula, when I was in Brazil in Caxambu – Minas Gerais. I was very sad.
IGI: The last thing you ever won?
AE: We never won anything forever.
IGI: A song?
IGI: Yes ..
AE: Everybody say I love You, I don’t know the lyrics but I love singing this song!
IGI: A song makes you dance?
AE Toxic, Britney Spears.
ALL THE PHOTOGRAPS BY ANTOINE ESPINASSEAU / INTERVIEW PUBLISHED IN THE ISSUE #98 OF U+MAG