Exhibited at the Festival Circulation(s), the series Le soleil des loups of the photographer Marine Lanier explores the relationships between Man and nature, and the turmoils of adolescence. A subtle and dreamy work.

Marine Lanier graduated from the National School of Photography of Arles in 2007, she now studies, through her work, the relationships between Man and nature. “I try to capture the way a landscape or natural elements can influence the human being“, she says. Her series Le soleil des loup, exhibited at the Festival Circulation(s), follows two teenagers, Florentin and Émilien, evolving in their territory.

They live in the region of Ardèche located above an ancient volcano. Its activity has created what we call in geology an inverted landform: the old layers of the Earth’s crust are found at the surface, while the most recent ones remain buried”, the photographer explains. A unique natural reaction, symbolic of the turmoils of adolescence. Marine Lanier met Florentin, the oldest of two brothers, during an artist residency. “His personality and his joy of life had struck me“, she admits. One in full transformation, the other still at the frontier of childhood. Two fascinating models she has been photographing for three years now.

A primitive and poetic adventure

Le soleil des loups overlaps aesthetics and formats. Just like geological layers, the images blend, playing with colors and monochromes. An important distinction for the artist. “My black and white is more like a gray; like an ash that would have deposited on nature and men. A sort of tribute to the volcano,” she says. As for her photos in colour, they evoke dreams and premonition. The psychedelic tones are tinged with the unreal and invoke fantasy. A theme dear to Marine Lanier, who wishes to create a timeless territory, between dream and reality, and between past and future.

Playful, Florentin and Emilian merge with the spaces. They sink without fear into the forest and communicate with nature. “They sometimes even suggested some stagings”, adds the author. Photographer and model become co-authors of the image. By alternating areas of darkness and dazzlement, Marine Lanier makes her Le soleil des loups a fantastic and organic story. A subtle metaphor of the contradictory emotions found in adolescence, between need of belonging to a clan and desire for independence. The titles of the images — The sanctuary, The Ancestor, The  Spotter, The Roots, The Den, Totem… — refer to a story of adventures, far from urban spaces. A wild and primitive environment, governed by instincts.

© Marine Lanier