Friday 22 January 2010

Eric Perriard

All images © Eric Perriard

"This work started with the aim of investigating a global shift that has fascinated me," says Perriard of his Urban Souls project.

"Since 2008, for the first time in world history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. I was excited to be able to examine artistically one of the defining steps in the evolution of our civilization, even though this statistic only made official a trend which began long before. Within this context of an accelerating urban setting, I developed a photographic essay about people living in a cosmopolitan environment (I created this series of images in Seoul, South Korea, during 2008 and 2009). While wandering the city, I was looking to catch the instant when an isolated character encounters a moment of self-realisation. I tried to capture their individuality, thoughts, and feelings such as loneliness or introspection."

Perriard continues:

"By keeping a certain distance from the subject, I could preserve the tension between the city and its inhabitants in order to start thinking about the human condition in a megalopolis. However, as I embarked upon this work, I realised that I was photographing my own perception of these situations. I wanted to describe a moment of stillness in a hasty daily life. Then I mixed techniques (random walks and staging) during the process in order to illustrate a personal vision of a human being in an urban environment, as a generic entity filled with deep emotions and interrogations."

Ultimately, Perriard´s particular focus on cities posits the following question: Has living in cities truly become part of human nature, or are we still adapting ourselves in order to survive?

Born in South Korea in 1980, Eric Perriard was adopted at the age of six and raised in France. After graduating in Engineering and working for a multinational, he quit his job to become a freelance photographer in 2006. Being self-taught led him to "assign himself for personal series," he tells me. Emotions, instinct and reality are key components in his photography. However, his work never depicts spectacular scenes, but rather very still tableaux in which he can retranscribe his interrogations. Perriard’s work has been awarded by the French Ministry of Youth, exhibited and published internationally (recent shows in 2009: National Gallery of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Museum of Photography Metenkov House in Yekaterinburg - Russia, Museum of Fine Arts in Orleans – France, Galerie Municipale du Rutebeuf in Clichy - France).