Our readers picks #317, Maxime Michelet and Christophe Bouillet are interested in the notion of territory. One highlights its link with humans, while the other carries out an archaeology of space.

Maxime Michelet

“My photographic approach is anchored in and around solitude. The medium constitutes for me a place of meditation, within a feeling of abandonment. My gaze is therefore focused on objects, people and environments that exude the same emotion”, says Maxime Michelet, a young photographer from the southwest of France. It was in Spain seven years ago that he discovered the medium, capturing his wanderings in the streets of Madrid with disposable cameras. Since then, he has been creating projects inspired by “the LGBTQ+ community and sociospatial inequalities in the urban environment”. Rayane au Sud-Ouest, a true visual tale, retraces the journey of a young man with an atypical masculinity in the French region. “The idea for this project stems from a desire to tell the story of my native land, by opposing its raw forces to the delicacy of this traveller”, Maxime Michelet explains. Following his model, the photographer recounts “the precarious social and territorial integration that [he] encountered, growing up in a harsh region that leaves little room for marginal masculinities”.

© Maxime Michelet

Christophe Bouillet

The amateur photographer Christophe Bouillet takes one picture a day, which he publishes on Instagram in square format. “Many of them are the result of chance. This amount generates a few errors, so I only keep the most successful ones”, he confides. Fascinated by editing and framing, the artist defines himself as “a graphic designer who looks for lines, volumes, colors, who photographs what he would like to draw”. In a spontaneous way, he illustrates, through his “digital Polaroids”, his urban walks and his intimate memories. In Christophe Bouillet’s images, there are no portraits, only geometrical suggestions. “I don’t photograph humans, but I use their shadows and reflections to capture them anyway. Without showing it, the body is deformed and becomes an abstraction. Its mass feels like a different volume”, he explains. In the heart of this strange universe, the photographer becomes an archaeologist, and brings to light buried details, forgotten moments. Shards of life, covered by the rust of time.

© Christophe Bouillet

Cover picture: © Maxime Michelet