12.01.2009

Q&A: Corinne Vionnet















© Corinne Vionnet

To view more of Corinnes work visit http: http://www.corinnevionnet.com/


Lara Ohland: In your series Photo Opportunities the work begins as a blank canvas as well using photography to narrowly selecting from the existing world, do you refer to the work as photographs?
Corinne Vionnet: Vernacular photography and snapshots are quite present, and the number of images taken is notable. Moreover, since the rise of digital cameras and the internet, they has become even more apparent and accessible. They are an integral part of my research and observations.
Regarding « Photo Opportunities » I would use the term « photographs » in reference to the content of the work and « images » as its result. In fact, I use one word or the other depending on its context.















©
Corinne Vionnet

Lara Ohland:
Does your process invite a new description of the medium of photography?
Corinne Vionnet: I would say that this work welcomes an interrogation of the medium of photography. My research is based on questions I have, about the world or a particular subject, and about photography itself too. I don’t claim to have the answer to those questions. In fact, very often my research leads to other ones… I just try to understand a little and share my findings.



















©
Corinne Vionnet

Lara Ohland:
Do you find that work develops intuitively as you photograph, or do you more often approach work with a pre-conceived concept?
Corinne Vionnet: I don’t have any rules really. A photograph or an observation I've made can lead me to start on a new project, or it can even lead me to investigate a whole new subject. Any little moment or thing can trigger ideas. My ideas may intersect, merge, move away, return…
"Divertir" ("Entertaining"), for example, originates from a shot I made of a place of leisure and entertainment. I then made a second photograph about this surrounding created the diptych. I looked for and photographed other places of entertainment and leisure and their facing landscapes or scenes. I continued to work on this project based on this criterion.
Later, some readings on entertainment led me to an interest in tourist destinations and monuments as well. I had the chance to be in Pisa and observe the phenomenon of all of us photographing communally the Leaning Tower. This curious observation inspired me to search for and look at images of the famous tower on the internet, which then led me to the project "Photo Opportunities".
It is important for me to have a strong foundation with respect to the project. I don't necessarily mean this in an intellectual way. This can be information about the place, the subject, its history, and even the preparations or authorizations needed to take the photographs. It might be also mean learning about the inspiration and desire to carry out the project. All of this often enables me to define better and clarify what I would like to do, the reasons for doing it, the direction to take to express what I want and how, all, however, without forgetting the initial emotion and intuition to photographing in the first place.










©
Corinne Vionnet

Lara Ohland: In the body of work 3 Days or Maybe Longer what was your process of collaborating with anthropologist Liliane Biolley? How does collaboration inform the way that you photograph?
Corinne Vionnet: One day Liliane Biolley shared with me texts that she had collected over months from the refugee centers in Switzerland. Affected by these texts, I suggested doing a photography project in these centers. Liliane went with me, introduced me and integrated me. I went there regularly. All this was crucial to carrying out this project.
A collaboration can modify the way one works, forcing oneself to respect the other and the other’s work. It can lead to a new understanding, bring energy and motivation, and also make one realize how the interpretation of an image can be different from one person to another. Through my collaborations with different people, I have learned that perfect communication -- making oneself fully understood -- through all types of media is actually a utopian notion.



















©
Corinne Vionnet

Lara Ohland: Text plays a crucial roll in 3 days or Maybe Longer, what is gained by allowing words to inform the image? Is anything lost through a photographs dependence on text?
Corinne Vionnet: My photographs are based mainly on the feelings I had while I was in these refugee centers and listening to the asylum seekers. I kept the texts that Liliane had collected in mind, but didn’t try to match a specific text to a photograph. The texts are interchangeable, as are the images. They are no longer captions under a photograph, but texts that exist by themselves and images that also exist by themselves, where one image might reinforce a text from time to time and vice and versa.
When using text with photographs, there is an obvious reference to captions. It’s a difficult and delicate task, and I would not say that the result is completely successful, but we wanted to experiment with it in this project.



















© Corinne Vionnet

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