APRIL 12, 2019
INTERVIEW


ALEXANDRE SOUÊTRE




Alexandre Souêtre takes us into a world where bodies and objects seem to whisper in silence, where time slows down and people talk to us with their eyes. Photography to capture the very essence of the elements, to better detach ourselves from the rest. Alexandre knows how to look at things in depth in order to discover what they really are - bodies full of emotions - and to share it with us in poetry.





Why photography?
For the same reason I will draw, write or engage in a conversation: because it is accessible to me as a mean of expression. Photography is special. Motion, movement and feelings can be held in a single frame. That generates infatuation, on both ends.

Does it give you the power to slow down time?
Even better, it allows you to stretch and mold time. Consider a thought, an idea, had in a split second, but that would take hours to verbalize.




Standing still, looking straight ahead. What are your models looking at?
I don't know. And I don't want to know. I am not completely comfortable interacting with people, so I build stories around what one thinks when they look at me, past me, at someone else, or nothing in particular. I know what I am looking at and capturing: a moment of stillness, someone who holds that moment, and any space between myself and that.

They seem to be screaming from the inside. What are they saying?
I hope they are. The kind of love we truthfully look for answers the desire to be heard without actually phrasing anything. So I hope people hear them in my photos. Realistically, they don't. Realistically, the person I am shooting is wondering why I am awkward and planning what they will have for lunch.





Are you attracted to the void?
If it scares you, yes, I am.

Is silence violence?
When I was a kid, I had very vivid nightmares. They were violent. But I couldn't necessarily pinpoint acts of violence in them. It was just tightly contained in muffled sounds and large movements. I am obsessed with the idea of violence as a minute but dense force that hits you quietly and motionlessly. Humans are a vehicle of that. I've always seen people as aggressive and soft beings simultaneously. Violence is silent, but so is compassion. I have answered the question backwards, if at all.




Neither black nor white. Do you see the world in grey?
I do, because it is entirely grey. But I most certainly act otherwise. We've just created black and white as ideas to help sooth our conscience, and justify our actions. Polarization is a necessity to the well being of our compartmentalized lives. Simplifying our observable environment is what makes us so creative and idiotic at the same time. We are lazy philosophers and researchers. I am guilty of polarized behavior myself. We all are. Perhaps as a way to stay sane or pretend to be so.

What is the question behind all your work?
I have so many questions; most of them start with "why". I do a lot of asking, but not in my work. That's not my place. You do that. Why is everyone obsessed with the idea of shouting louder than their neighbor? I'd like to know that.