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Vasantha Yogananthan November 10, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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Tina, Piémanson, France 2013

Vasantha Yogananthan (b. 1985, France) and lives and works in Paris, France. His work has been exhibited at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris, 2012), the Musée Albert-Kahn (Boulogne-Billancourt (2013), and the Maison de l’Image Documentaire (Sète, 2014) among others. In 2013, he was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. His photographs have been published in Le Monde, Geo and the New York Times. He was included in the “Top 30 under Thirty” organized by Magnum Photos. Along with his work as a photographer. Vasantha has co-founded a small publishing house named Chose Commune. His first Piémanson book was selected among the 12 finalists of MACK First Book Award and Best Book of the Year at Kassel PhotoBook Festival.

About the Photograph:

“The series “Piémanson” tells the story of the last wild beach in France. In the photograph you can see bed sheets from the hotel that have been cut to make flags on top of the caravan. Her parents first brought Tina to the beach when she was only one and over the years the place has become a second home for her. Every summer I came to Piémanson, I spent time with Tina and her brother and sister, following them in the hundred of activities children always find on the beach during summertime.”

“I took many portraits of her but I felt none was really conveying a sense of who she was. Maybe it was because I was too close, so I started taking a step back in terms of distance. 2013 was the last summer I took photographs for this project. After five summers living with this community I could no longer take pictures without repeating myself. It was the end of the season and people were starting to dismantle their camps. The atmosphere was heavy as every year campers leave without knowing whether they will be allowed to reinvent their enchanted interlude the following year. Tina was picking up her things on the top of the caravan and I immediately saw the whole scene as a perfect match to convey this feeling of melancholia. I carefully set my tripod, composed the frame and then shouted to ask her to stop moving which she did but not as long as the exposure. You can see her head slightly moving. Tina, like a princess in her kingdom, seems to be protecting Piémanson from her fortress.