Artist focus: Dimitri Bourriau
Dimitri Bourriau, aka Jahz Design, is a master in the art of photographing abandoned places, sometimes in very remote areas. This gives his photography a historical nature, and plunges us into worlds we have never known, but which nevertheless seem familiar. We closely follow the adventures of this talented young photographer and are each time dazzled by his taste for risk.
It is undoubtedly a set of personal tastes that influence him in his work: "I'm a film and architecture buff, but I also have a real interest in places steeped in history." As a child, he was fascinated by the conquest of space. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a mythical place that strictly follows the traditions of the pioneers of the conquest, and it was from this base that Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, was launched. In 2019, he therefore decided to set off in search of the relics that bear witness to the remains of the Soviet space programme.
The search for light is paramount in his photos. "Because light gives life to places, I analyse their configuration, I look for skylights, the orientation of openings... This will determine the moment when it best suits the composition." Shooting old theaters is a very special exercise. Often, the halls are extremely dark and the scenes in complete darkness. He then positions himself on the basket, the first floor of the hall, which was once the preferred place to be admired. Then he manually merges the whole thing in post-production to achieve the results he wants. Dimitri tries to show that all these places are not necessarily "forgotten". He shares a photographic testimony, a work of archiving. This gives the person who looks at these photos the role of an active witness to this history.