The French photographer Camille Brasselet stages her photographs as if they were paintings and makes her models characters in a story without beginning or end. In her soft-color compositions with flat lighting, out-of-frame objects become protagonists in their own right. That which is not shown becomes the irreducible element of mystery within the banality of everyday life.
Camille Brasselet‘s photographs are similar to the first lines of a script: a woman is seated on a bed, naked, with her back to a mirror… A young girl in a swimsuit stands motionless at the edge of a swimming pool… Her images have the same synthetic dimension, the same immediacy as those that form in our mind while reading their brief descriptions. The setting is reduced to the essential, a balance is established between the figure and their environment as if at this stage in the story, the two have the same importance.
For the artist, the entire story is contained within this moment. There is no before or after. Everyone is free to imagine what will eventually bring this suspended instant to life: a tragedy or happy event, the sudden entrance of the external world or the simple resumption of life.
Camille Brasselet transforms her models into characters who inhabit this space between reality and fiction that is specific to photography. They are characters without a story, without being abandoned: instead, one senses a tension within their still bodies that seems to announce the immanence of an event.
The young photographer arranges her photographs like a painter would compose a genre scene, by utilizing the same resources: composition, colors, light…”Everything that ends up within the frame is deliberate” she says, before adding, almost within the same sentence: “what interests me is the out-of-frame.”
The out-of-frame is introduced into each photo through windows, mirrors, or, as occurs in the Untitled Stories series, adjoining rooms and mises en abyme (metatheatres). That which is not shown is left to the imagination, which dives into this unknown by escaping to the ambience of these soft-colored interiors, where, however, the everyday assumes a disturbing strangeness.
This emergence of mystery within the everyday, combined with the very pictorial aspect of these photographs, reminds one of Edward Hopper’s paintings. In the works of both artists, one finds figures who are both absent and waiting, who emanate a deep sense of solitude. This solitude is especially palpable in the series La dilution du souvenir (The Dilution of Memory), created during quarantine, where the artist decided on a framing that is larger than that in the series À Côté (Alongside), which she began two years before.
The filigree nude appears in all of the series that have been mentioned so far, but in the series Diaphane (Diaphanous), it becomes the subject itself. Beyond the nude, it is the skin that interests the photographer: its colorimetric universe, its pictorial potential, its ability to show (the skin array) as well as hide (the skin envelope). The name of the series seems to convey the territory that the artist explores with this series: Diaphane, “that which lets the light pass through without being transparent.” Once gain, it is this in-between space that interests Camille Brasselet so much, due to its ability to reflect the essence of the photographic image itself. Bodies, she says, are “always adorned with a second skin, sometimes this is the clothing, sometimes this is the point of view that the photographer imposes upon it at the moment when the photo is taken. Photography’s objectivity remains a myth – the photographer dresses the photographed object with their perspective.”
Camille Brasselet lives and works in Lyon. Born in 1997, she attended preparatory courses at the École des Beaux-Arts of Saint-Brieuc before pursuing photography studies at the École de Condé in Lyon. Since 2019, she has been developing her portfolio, already honored with the Fotofever Prize in 2020, and by the Prix le19M in 2022 for artisan photography as part of the Prix Picto for fashion photography. She is represented by the Agence Vu for assignment and press and by Artistics gallery for her artistic work.
For more information
visit the Artistics gallery website for Camille Brasselet’s biography and portfolio: