“He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane,  

the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.”   

(In the Mood for Love, Wong Kar-wai)

 

Matthieu Alexandre (b. in Paris, France, 1974)

Photographing the shadowy side of humanity in search of light… Shadows, silhouettes and black & white, especially black... Maybe because I am colour blind, perhaps that is not reason enough? The grain too, that of the Kodak Tri-X that I developed in my darkroom for 25 years, a sky without grain does not speak to me. Contrary to appearances, black and white photography does not subtract anything from reality, it reveals. My favourite light? The morning light, even though I'm a late riser by nature! Full of contradictions that I am. I like small, discreet and silent cameras. I've never been a big fan of the big Nikons with huge lenses, even if it amused me the first times. Being discreet, almost invisible... In any case, making people forget or accept my presence is essential for me to photograph the people I photograph: the poorest of the poor, the people on the run or in exile, the excluded, the labourers and the shadow workers. The only thing they have in common is that these people often have nothing, no home, sometimes no family left. It is perhaps a way of defining what we are when we are reduced to nothing, to almost nothing. I photograph the Human more than the Men finally, to the point, I realize, of photographing them from behind, in the shadows, without recognizable face, in silhouettes... My contact sheets are full of silhouettes photographed from behind, it was pointed out to me. I photograph against the light, against all the basic rules of photography, but I like it, it's the photography I find myself in, the photography in which I seek myself. Why do I do it? I still don't know, so I continue. (Paris, March 21, 2022)

Prizes & Awards

2021 Honorable Mention for Du raisin et des Hommes (Of grapes & men) at International Photography Awards (New York, USA)

2019 Best Script Award for the book La Farce des Hommes Foudre at Festival de la Bande-dessinée (Moulins, France)

2010 1st prize of the reportage for Iraqi refugees in the Middle East at Ars Imago (Roma, Italy)

1999 Bourse de l'Aventure de la Mairie de Paris for Enfants du Nepal (Paris, France)

For more details you are invited to read my Linkedin profile.