It was in 2014 Thibaut Derien exhibited for the first time I live in a Ghost Town at the Little Big Gallery. Thibaut Derien has come back to the rue Lepic with new images of closed shops, familiar shop signs and typography that are disappearing from the facades. All of the series have been brought together in a book, the first work from Editions du Petit Oiseau. Thibault Derien, former singer, started to take photographs of old shopfronts during his tours in France, and in Belgium, where he lived for two years. He let go of the microphone for his camera which never leave his side.
This could be the street of a small village just like ours, reconstructed in a studio for one of those nostalgic films of which only French cinema has the secret. A collection of shops – which we call today “ community-based”, closed, also a collection of shop signs the charm of whose typography, now disappeared, cannot hide the missing letters, washed away with neglect, a memory in which a photographer guides us: “I kill the time that doesn’t really pass here by imagining all those lives spent behind the closed shutters, those drawn iron curtains. I’m like a castaway on a desert island, except that I don’t want to be rescued. I live in a ghost town”.
Amongst the documentary intentions of “realism”, intensified by the handling and nostalgic moving in the shape of flight from the big city, the questions of memory, time, tracks, impose themselves in a frontal view both clean and repetitive. One of these square inventories that, because we are dealing with photographs, ends up by becoming fictional possibilities, questions anyway, doubts, an overstatement of representation.
J’habite une ville Fantôme
Les éditions du Petit Oiseau