On August 2, 2020, while on holiday in the Drôme, the field of vision in my right eye suddenly shrinks, for no apparent reason. I see a dark half-moon at the top of my eye, like the shadow of a cap. It was a detachment and tearing of the retina. I had to undergo an emergency operation and stay in bed for three weeks, not knowing if I would ever see out of this eye again. To resist the fear of blindness, I promise myself that I will continue to take photographs no matter what. Thus was born “Retina”. These are images taken with very poor vision, mostly in a prone position, with little light to avoid damaging the eye. When I saw the photos, I realised that some of the images were exactly what the sick eye sees. In the foreground, the opaque ball of gas instilled into the eye to keep the retina in good position during the healing process, and in the background, at the top, the vision that is beginning to return. Later, a blurred perception of reality. The unconscious is indeed at work.
Historian of urban forms and architecture
CNRS, Researcher-photographer associated with the
“Environment, City, Society” laboratory, University of Lyon