Stéphane Gizard: Hunting Down Memories

Artist Stéphane Gizard

Words Javier Zamora-Kalazich

Intimacy combined with poetry is what you can find in the last book of Stéphane Gizard: ‘Irréversible’. An archive of unpublished images from 1999 showing different encounters and shades of youth. The book is a taste of the French photographer’s memory and a special selection of the past two decades. Sometimes erotic, some others immersed in nostalgia, Stéphane invites us to a visual journey of a very personal piece.

From polaroid photos to some films, ‘Irréversible’ is a book to look back with elegance on what is not with us anymore. In a mix of polaroids, photos and films the photographer -that has also been part of ‘Boys Boys Boys’- presents in this publication through Eivissa Éditions his fifth book proposing a captivating perspective about bodies and intimacy. In a quick conversation with Container Love, Stéphane explains some aspects of his last work.

I love and hate this idea of irreversibility. There is something sublime and terrifying in this title. It does not leave us indifferent and awakens in us the nostalgia of our own body, of our first lived or fantasized intimacies. Irréversible is an ode to the beauty of bodies and lost illusions. 

Stéphane Gizard, photographer

Why the name ‘Irréversible’ for your book?

I love and hate this idea of irreversibility. There is something sublime and terrifying in this title. Beauty, love, encounters… I am very lucky to have experienced them. There is a lot of tenderness and poetry in this fixed memory in the format of a picture. It does not leave us indifferent and awakens in us the nostalgia of our own body, of our first lived or fantasized intimacies. These photographs are the story of these past and present encounters. Irréversible is an ode to the beauty of bodies and lost illusions.

So we see different encounters through the pages of your book. What are the stories behind these photos? 

Each photograph marks a specific experience in my life. It could be a story, a place, or even a feeling. In the end, these photographs are quite intimate. Through ‘Irréversible’ I wanted to share unprecedented images that are linked to my lovers and my friends who have been close to me for so many years.

This book is also dedicated to my friend Jocelyn Quivrin (french actor) who died so young. There are three photos of him included in this collection, for me it was important to pay tribute to him. As you see, this book is very personal, there are even two pictures of me when I was 17 and 23.

These photographs represent me. They are the mirror of who I am, of what I loved and love. I think with time I have become more aware of things when I photograph.

Stéphane Gizard, photographer

Unpublished images from 1999 give us a taste of the progress  of your work and maybe also of ourselves. How do you feel about the evolution of your photography in two decades? 

These photographs represent me. They are the mirror of who I am, of what I loved and love. I think with time I have become more aware of things when I photograph. The oldest photos had no purpose but to be a memory. I didn’t expect to post them, I didn’t create them necessarily to be shared, therefore they are perhaps more spontaneous and less thoughtful than now. But in the end, it is up to everyone to find their own involvement with these moments and to connect with them through emotion. The poetry that these faces and these bodies communicate is specific to each one of us.

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