Discover Schéma‘s alternative processes, where photography becomes painting & drawing becomes photography.
With Vassili Brault, the founder, we are talking about time to wander around, time for mistakes and readjustments, and the transfer of emotion happening between the hand and the object.
Schéma – Collection n°1
Instinct : Hello Vassili, could you first tell us a little bit more about yourself, and you’re identity coming through your body of work ? Vassili Brault :I have a very diverse background. I spent 7 years in New York city before going back to France. I went from art direction to photography before ending up with film direction, that I have been approaching as a combination of both previous practices, especially in advertising.
I have always been working on personal projects on the side as well, artistic projects. What once was just some kind of laboratory for my ideas slowly became the primary focus, taking more and more room in my daily practice, until I found myself embracing this shift in my career.
My work explores the possibilities of photography as a medium using mainly collage and détournement. I focus on what charges and resonate emotionally when overlaid or crushed together. I explore transformations, collisions, sometimes in a a dramatic way, sometimes just in a grotesque or humorous manner. I believe the essence of what we call identity quite often lies in a patchwork of all these collisions, I study their staining, their impregnation, the points of contact.
Sometimes I find it still hanging. I then look for mediations, what preexists and what is visible, like the beginning of a scenario or the small pieces of a catastrophy wanting to happen, just waiting for all its protagonists.
Instinct : What is the process behind Schéma, the concept ? Vassili Brault :Schema is an exposure platform and publishing house for art photography. We work mainly with alternative photographic processes and in collaboration with contemporary artists to produce limited edition prints.
The project finds its origin in the will to create an attractive hub for quality work, surrounded by artists that are sensitive to the materials, the processes and the end result. We explore new territories together, pushing our limits and hopefully theirs along the way, reconciling yesterday’s techniques with today’s topics.
We also wanted the whole approach to be transversal, since mediums quite often cross each other, or mimic each other in today’s production. We saw photography become painting, drawing become photography… For that matter, the images that comprise our collections are often produced using a variety of mediums, even if the final print will always be the result of a photosensitive reaction.
Schéma – Collection n°1
Instinct : How is the notion of “time” important in Schema’s bias ? Vassili Brault :First of all because some of the techniques we use are extremely labor intensive. We are bound to time by the very nature of these processes. In order to do well you have to put a lot of work into it, fail then try again, give up then come back to it, until eventually you start understanding what is going on, until you start mastering one technique out of hundreds.
Second of all, and this one is more personal, because I believe the emotional load of an object finds its strength in the attention given to its production. I believe there is a transfer of emotion happening between the hand and the object. Losing the hand allows to save time of course, but it will most likely make you lose this emotional load as well.
I know this opinion is not shared by all but it is what we and our artists stand for.
Instinct : What know-how do you want to showcase as much in the work as in its support ? Vassili Brault :I am not sure I can point at one thing in particular but we are surrounded by artists, artisans, framers, printers doing a remarkable job. We have been thinking the end result and the approach as a whole, everything is handmade by the order, here in Paris, with the care and attention to detail that makes every piece a noticable objet.
Instinct : What is Schéma’s artistic signature ? Will all the artists presented be in the same vein ?
Vassili Brault :Schema works on a collection basis with each collection acting as a conversation between the images, with its own topics and mediations.
Everything from the selection of images, the processes, the framing options is bound to each collection. From one collection to the next we can find already published artists or new ones, but it is a new conversation starting, with a new topic at stake.
Instinct :What values do you want to share ?
Vassili Brault :The idea of time I guess, time to wander around, time for mistakes and readjustments. I believe we are impregnated by everything, nothing should ever be thrown away. There is some sort of constant result requirement today, an ever growing sense of immediacy. It brings a lot of distress, especially for people that are not built this way, it becomes like an unattainable goal.
I believe it acts as a smoke screen too, a mad race allowing us to avoid what should be essential. We should accept that some things require a lifetime practice, like learning to remain curious, learning to remain alive.
Starting next week, 3 new artists will join the collection.