Can you quickly introduce yourself?
My name is Nicolas Poillot, I work in the field of photography and publication. I’m based in Paris.
Your photography work deals a lot with broken objects or abandoned places, how do you consider those elements and their importance in your work? Do you look for them or do they come to you?
As you said, my work deals a lot with broken objects and abandoned things, although I think that I can’t summarize it as such. Basically I take pictures of things that touch me, no real ideas behind it. It ‘s during the editing that I try to bring homogeneity and make sense with images. Obviously there are redundant subjects in my work. To return to the question, this is certainly related to finding something “beautiful & aesthetic” in opposition to what you have been taught or conditioned to. I think that I like things that can be described as “anomalies”. I don’t think this is a revolutionary theme in the world of photography but I just try to treat it my way, and give another dimension to it. I like to find, in my daily life, things that may seem trivial and draw some attention to it.
And finally I don’t know if I look for them or if they come to me, it’s above all an encounter.
You also work as a photo editor for Etudes Books and for other magazines? What type of photography are you particularly looking for these days?
As all, photography has its trends and it could be “difficult” to escape from them, even though you have your own sensitivities.
I don’t know if I search for a particular type of photography, but just something that will touch, surprise or amaze me, and that I have not already seen a thousand times. As in many mediums such as – painting, illustration, film or music – influences and inspirations are working bases for everyone. Once assimilated, it is necessary to digest it and forge your own identity with it. For example, we are very pleased and proud, in a way, to have published the work of Nicolas Hosteing through ETUDES Books. There is something very cool in his work, something amazing and offbeat. I think Nicolas has very instinctive work and MATADOR series has something shifted, in light of what we can see today in the world of publishing and photography. In my opinion, the photos of landscapes in his book are just incredible.
It’s also very interesting to work for other magazines. In this case my work may be different than what I do with ETUDES Books. These are other sensitivities and it’s interesting to be able to adapt to it, while reaching to bring something personal, despite some obvious constraints.
You like to collect books, can you give us a list of a couple of books that touched you this past year?
I don’t know if I collect books as a collector may have an obsessive relationship with it, but it is true that I like it and I have a certain amount. Although these books are not all released in 2012, here is a selection of books that have caught my attention this year:
- “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters” by Taryn Simon ( published by Gagosian Gallery )
– “A pocket companion to books from the Simpsons, in alphabetical orders” by Olivier Lebrun ( published by Rollo Press)
– “Domestic Sculpture Garden / Site of Desire” by Michael Strasser ( published by Fotohof Editions )
– “Loch im Spiegel” by Lutz / Guggisberg ( published by Editions Patrick Frey )
– “Matador” by Nicolas Hosteing ( published by Etudes Books )
– “Out to Lunch” by Ari Marcopoulos ( published by PPP Editions )
– “Strude” by Trine Sondergaard ( published by Museum Kunst Der Westküste)
– “Summertime” by Mark Steinmetz ( published by Nazraeli Press )
Your images of the “floating tire” comes from a trip you did in the US, can you tell us more about your trip?
The image of the ” floating tire” was taken in Detroit in may 2011, during a trip I made with my girlfriend Maud.
We just did a road trip loop from NYC with the following stops : New York, Vermont, Québec, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.There is not much more to say, except that it was a very pleasant trip… I saw things that changed from my daily life and inspired me, and it was also important for me to share this with the person that is part of my life.
You are actually working on a book, with some images from that travel, can you tell us what the book is about?
Yes, indeed I am working on a book that will be published by Shelter Press for early 2013.
This book will be made with pictures of this trip, but not only. This is an editing of many of my images (already published or not) over the last 2 years. It will be called UTO PIA, in reference to a scene that I lived in Detroit during a trip.
I also like the notion of utopia, the stories, and the ideas it conveys. More specifically utopia is a literary genre which is close to the travelogue but whose concept is of imaginary societies, and I think this definition pretty much sums up the content of the work shown in this book. That said, once again, everyone can interpret images in their own way.
Finally I’m also happy to work with close friends on this project.
You are living in Paris, is Paris Magic?
” Ici c’est Paris ! “
I know you are into French Rap from the mid 90′s to early 2000, what about it?
It’s above all a joke between friends, I think….In fact I’m the only one still listening to French Rap nowadays. Even if I don’t listen to it exclusively, fortunately! I listened to a lot of French Rap during my teenage years and I feel affection for the period from mid 90′s to early 2000, you’re right. I think it was the golden age of French Rap. At that time France was the second rap producer in the world after the USA, which seemed unreal given the size difference of these two countries ! There was a real dynamic and a real freshness. Now all that has changed or maybe I am the one who has changed?
In short, all of this is obviously related to a certain nostalgia.
What are you working on now, what’s next?
First of all I would like to finish my book, which will be an achievement.
Also work on other personal projects and I hope to continue to publish books that simply excite me.
Conversation with Nicolas Poillot, Riga, Liege 2012. Photography by Études Studio.