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A presentation of the artist’s photography passions, works and projects.

This summary outlines Frederic Mouchet’s professional life, his motivations, his favourite topics and encounters and his publications.


ARTIST’S PROFILE

FREDERIC MOUCHETBorn in Paris in 1967, Frederic Mouchet has always been passionate about photography. At the age of 20 he undertook his first photo expedition to Africa. Leaving alone, without any defined aim and with almost nothing in his pocket, his journey allowed him to experience at first hand the universe of reportage, and to feel the concentrated apprenticeship of discovery, frustration, and excitement that represents the quest for the photographic subject. Since then Frederic has never stopped travelling the world with his camera in hand.

His approach to the work brings him perhaps closest to the photography of happy coincidence. He trusts in the eternal comedy of nature and humanity to bring their bright scenes into being. Framed at the decisive moment, these are capable of generating images that transcend the reality of place, individual, or group, and they open a window on a reality larger than our own known world.

There is no question of bearing down on the scene to influence the actors or the course of events. The photographer barely communicates with his subjects, seeking, if not oblivion, then a certain transparency essential to preserving the glances and gestures that form the ballet of human situations. He is also wary of those ideal images that fill so many glossy magazines, and with them of the temptation to wait for hours in hope that a warm and voluptuous light will envelope a certain mountain horizon. He prefers shifting scenery and, taking to the roads, he circles carefully in search of the gift of the real, of that unpredictable and fleeting visual encounter that fixes itself gently and clearly in the photographer’s lens.

In choosing his subjects, Frederic Mouchet attaches little importance to grand events. He believes more in the poetry of the ordinary, in the truth of backyards, and anonymous faces struggling through the maze of daily life, glowing or growing drunk at a party, or yearning before the altar of a temple. He believes in the language of landscapes, eloquent with the deep-rooted relationships they share with man. And his comings and goings in five continents over the last 20 years have allowed him to measure just to what extent geography shapes people and their cultures.

MAJOR PHOTO REPORTS AND LONGSTANDING COLLABORATIONS

Frederic Mouchet has been a regular contributor to the magazine Grands Reportages. He has published more than forty photo reports on countries as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Burma, Laos, India, China, Japan, Cape Verde, Alaska, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Syria.
His images have also been widely published in the national and foreign press, and, among others, he has worked with GEO (France, Spain, Russia, Finland), VSDLe Point, Le Monde des Religions, Liberation, Ulysse and Australian Geographic.

Now on geo.fr : MAORIS - Le temps de la reconquête

THE PASSIONATE UNIVERSE OF THE ISLANDS

This history is not purely born of his enchantment by the sultry song of tropical mermaids. It comes from Frederic Mouchet’s long fascination with the world of the island and all that it connotes. From Iceland to Celebes, from Rodrigues to Okinawa, from Cuba to New Zealand: nothing seems to link these little worlds, jealously guarding their singularity, save the sea itself. Oceans protect and isolate them, render them sublime, mythic, even diabolic. Oceans define their island fastness.

Countless have attached their souls to the shores of a luminous island, from the unknown and oppressed to famous naturalists and philosophers. Thomas More, William Shakespeare and Daniel Defoe all placed the island above the common world, doubtless because it holds a sense of remote purity, as that of the beginning of time, and because, like a god, it can hold out the promise of a heaven or a hell. The island is the place of treasure, the unknown, and one of the symbols of the world’s diversity, ambiguity, and aspiration. It is an unequalled setting where man may come face to face with himself and, so doing, come face to face with others, with virgin nature, and with the divine.

All the magic of the island resides in an irreconcilable equation: the most finite of geographic spaces also reveals itself as one of the vastest spiritual terrains. Parting from this observation, how could a somewhat dreamy photographer resist the temptation to return to them endlessly to recall their particularities, happenings, and events? And then, there is also the ambition to capture some of the mystery of a horizon that has long torn the hearts of islanders between a desire to see it remain empty and the need, from time to time, to see it filled with life.

BOOK

The Australia of the French Explorers (Cover page)THE AUSTRALIA OF THE FRENCH EXPLORERS - SOMOGY Editions d'art

November 2015

Six major French expeditions to the Australian coast took place over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Through contemporary photographs, expedition drawings and historical commentary, the reader will discover an Australia still intact, loyal to the environment these seafaring explorers came upon over 200 years ago.


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by Neuro-Graph