Interview with
Benjamin Deroche

1. What were your most beautiful exhibitions (list 1 to 3)?

Abbaye de Jumièges
The Arche Museum (St Pierre et Miquelon)
Space Van Gogh (Arles)

2. What are you passionate about?
There are a few but more particularly i would say wild nature, art and literature.
Also I have a real interest in human beings in my personal life but I have a limited interest in the human form in photography!!
I try to keep human made things to a minimum in my compositions and use richly coloured images. This is to me both a spiritual undertaking and a natural process.
By freeing myself from the mental representations of space, I invite to experience impermanence. In front of a work that we like, we enter into contemplation and if it resists us, we enter into meditation. For me beauty has no other finality than its own form. I use landscape to create mysterious and deeply striking images resulting in a collision between nature’s powers and fictional boundaries.

Tell us about your Series “The place of Marguerite Duras”
L’hotel des Roches Noires in Normandy is Duras’s very metaphor. She lived there from 1963 to 1994, before her death in 1996. The Roches Noires are a metaphor of Duras. Marguerite Duras writes, “Then fear fades. I show her [him]the sea. It is an incredible luxury to be able to see it from the balcony. When we bomb cities, ruins and corpses remain. In the sea, you throw an atomic bomb and ten minutes later the sea reverts to its original form. You can’t shape water. “, excerpt from La Vie Materielle, (Practicalities). This is all the more true in Normandy where one feels a strange sense of calm, where the colour of water turns from green to grey in an everlasting cycle.
In Normandy there are very few rocks, very little swell. We have the feeling of being in front of a kind of vortex that does not stop while we stay behind. This is how Duras seems to have felt it. There, she was in a closed room with a view of infinity. It must have inspired her as she wrote a lot during her stays at the Hôtel des Roches Noires in Normandy.
Roland Barthes said there are noisy photographs and silent photographs. Mine want to be silent. With Duras there is so much noise and force which create silence. In her capacity to repeat things over, in the non-existence of action, Duras creates passive landscapes. Defined by slowness a landscape exists untainted by emotions that humans project into it. Novels allow me to reach an invisible sensation around a space that will lead me to capture it with one point of view. This point of view will surface with the emergence of new sensations. In literature, it is the process of description.

3. If you were at the airport facing the departure board, where would you like to go?
Lanzarote, St Pierre and Miquelon, Île de Pâques (Easter Island), Hawaii, Vanuatu.
4. Where can we have a chance to meet you?

At Ouessant Island, in the forests of southwest in France, sometimes in NYC.

5. A cause you feel strongly?
The preservation of forests and wild spaces in general.