Into Clément Sanna's Rabbit Hole
Clément Sanna, 28, is a French photographer and graphic designer with an adventurous taste. Here, an insight into his world through his clean-cut photographs with his series Hunting Rabbits. With a very specific and clear eye he transports his spectators into a unknown world and diverse cultures. On the volcanic island of the Canaries in Lanzarote, this dusty chrome coloured palet enhances the photos of a rabbit hunt amongst the inhabitants of the island.
Fisheye : What is your history with photography ?
Clément Sanna : As a child, I fell upon the old analogue cameras of my parents : a 35mm, an Instamatic and a Polaroid. They were in old crates, I felt as if I was discovering a hidden treasure ! The object itself got my attention rather than the fact of it’s capacity of taking pictures. I then started taking pictures at the end of my school years. I would go into photo shops and ask for expired film. It allowed me to experiment with 35 mm on a low budget. Little by little I started to invest in more material, doing it more seriously.
How has this affected your photography and style ?
It was the release of the old film, Time Zero of Polaroid that was a revelation, I wanted to have this photographic effect, it’s yellow tint and it’s light leaks. I like to add this style to create images which have a documentary approach which can be seen in my previous series. I am more and more interested in people, more specifically their lifestyles. From the ordinary, the trivial : the front of a house, a parking lot, a hotel room, a chicken coop…
You seem to have a specific interest in photographing rural worlds ?
I question lifestyle, the everyday, it’s routines or it’s hidden sides in an objective manner. I like to focus on a specific subject and integrate time into a project of it’s community. I became interested in greyhound races or, here for example, rabbit hunting, but it could have been rodeo shows, or even a group gathering of bikers.
While gazing upon your photos, America comes to mind, what is your opinion on that ?
I play with this aesthetic and imagery and feed off this constantly. As it isn’t the culture I grew up in, it creates a sort of fantasy of the unknown. The houses, cars, people, roads, fences, the light, everything is different and it inspires me.
What are you hoping this setting will add to your photos?
There is almost a surreal atmosphere, we don’t really understand where we stand. We are in the middle of nowhere and it turns out to be very intimate. Indicators of time and space disappear and that is how my series link and intertwine.
In your opinion, what link does photography and travelling have ?
I know the type of landscapes and atmospheres that I am in for, but inspiration only really comes once there by coincidences. Like this series, that wasn’t planned before leaving. It’s a good way for me to take pictures and it creates unexpected encounters outside my comfort zone.
How did you then end up taking photos in such a close proximity with these ‘unexpected encounters‘ ?
It all happened very smoothly, spontaneously and completely improvised ! I shot the photos during the hunters lunch. It was interesting documenting this precise moment of the day, backstage as it was. A calm moment where the group is eating and comes together and puts away the material. I went up to them and started talking. I then started taking photos and then they offered me drinks. I was in a total immersion, it was just as I had hoped.
What camera were you using ?
A Fujifilm X100T. I find it adapted for this type of vivid approach. It is discreet and peaceful. It is hardly intrusive which I can imagine it can be reassuring to people. They forget that their photo is being taken ! Usually I like to alternate between Polaroids 120 mm and digital, this allows me to renew, vary the result and to not have an unquestionable way in working, creating and thinking about projects.
Photos by © Clément Sanna