The Library is pleased to interview photographer Sabine Jaccard about her Art on View: All the world’s a stage exhibition now at the Library through September 2, 2012.
Sabine Jaccard, what do you think inspired you to pick up the camera and take pictures at the age of 9?
At the age of 9 I started taking photos since my family and I were living abroad and traveling extensively around the world. My parents had just bought a very good Nikon FE camera and I was seeing beautiful scenes which inspired me.
When you photograph, do you have a theme in mind?
When I photograph, I have a style in mind: “contre-jour” that is against the light to have silhouette effects. I also look for unusual, funny or original scenes that occur when I walk with my camera in Paris or in foreign cities.
What is “theatrical” photography and how is that different from “documentary” photography?
You have just coined this expression “theatrical” photography! I indeed have spoken about “theatrical images” to pay homage to Shakespeare whom I studied for three years at the Sorbonne. It is different from “documentary” phototography since I do not try to document on a city, or from “humanist” photography since my photos are not really social. My framing gives rather aesthetic pictures with this “contre-jour” style in which the light and the shadows (but not the people) are carefully staged. Hence my three series “Shadow Theater”, “Water Theater” and “The World’s a Stage” (in French, “Théâtre d’hommes”).
Who are your influences?
My favorite photographer (whom I met in 2000) is the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, not quite “humanist”, more journalistic and aesthetic. Then comes my master when I lived in Madagascar in 2000-2002, the Malagasy photographer Pierrot Men who sometimes uses “contre-jour”.
If not photography, what would have been another way for you to express yourself artistically?
I might have chosen to write novels since I studied English literature for ten years…but I prefer photography, there is more interaction with people!
Do have a look at Sabine Jaccard’s photographer’s website at www.sabinejaccard.com.