The Last First Day, photo essay by Frédérick Carnet
First of January 2106. Rügen. An island in northern Germany plunged into a strange atmosphere, post-apocalyptic, that reminds me of the movie The Road (2009, John Hillcoat). And if that day was the last first day of a fragile peace?
This project, like many of my last series, is shot in a total state of freedom. Here, the serie was even shot spontanously while I was walking with my girlfriend on the beach of Prora, a small town of Rügen Island, after a quiet new year’s eve evening. If I was influenced by the atmosphere of the movie The Road, I was also thinking of our past history. Prora was chosen by Hitler to become a summer resort for 20.000 workers between 1936- 1939. And that specific day, my mind went back to this terrible time of Europe history. I then started to think of our present and the fact that our future is uncertain. I was then asking myself : “Is this 1st of january the last one we will live in peace ?” And then I started to shoot. In less than 2 hours the pictures were shot.
Many of my series were build before being shot. I wrote a synopsis like for the long serie NIPPON 2011 shot during a 3 month trip. But more and more I decided that being an artist gives me the freedom to do what I want like I want.
I now often start with an idea that can just come from a feeling. Like for this serie. I then start to shoot without really thinking more. And I build the serie afterwards. I often think of a french director I love every single film: Abdellatif Kechiche. I read an interview in which he was explaining that he builds his movies while editing them. I feel the same with my photography. I shoot. I follow my instinct and edit my pictures like I could edit a movie. Every frame shot would be then a sequence of a movie.
(by Frédérick Carnet )