Simon

          Beraud



© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved












© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved

G.


  A journey through the mists and lights of love


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’’Love is an emotion that has obsessed artists since the advent of art. Many a writer has grappled with the challenge of putting the feelings of love into words, and yet their work is never done. Love is too intangible, ethereal, personal to ever be satisfactorily recorded. Even the most eloquent of words can only ever approximate.
And yet as hard as it is to describe, it is perhaps harder to depict. How do you visually illustrate the drunken intensity of new love, or the deeply rooted trust of long-term love without resorting to expected and inadequate tropes: kisses, embraces, hearts, rings…? How do you capture something that feels both true to the photographer and their feelings, and sufficiently familiar and resonant to engage a broader audience?
It’s a challenge Simon tackles with spirit and imperfect success in his series G: the ambiguity of its title fitting for the formlessness of its subject matter. A photographer who in his own words “photographs to understand what he feels”, there is a feeling of impulsiveness and spontaneity in both his series statement and in the resulting images – a visual diary made in real-time and without planning,  over-analysis or re-drafting, propelled forward by feeling, by pulsing heartbeats and tingling skin.
Images of his lover’s body, close-up and shrouded in shadow are juxtaposed with images of their empty shared environment of bedsheets, hillsides, beaches. It’s as if to emphasize both the intensity of proximity and the yearning of distance – the ecstasy of being together and the ache of not. Shot in low light with flash, there is an arresting chiaroscuro, as if to tell us that for everything he sheds light on, there is more that remains a mystery.
The archetypal image of the series is perhaps the one showing his partner in silhouette on a rocky coastal outcrop. Combining his two visual motifs – the body and the environment – she stands like a siren; alluring and dangerous, beautiful but unknowable. Like the rest of the series it is raw, striking and charged with feeling. And perhaps those are as perfect descriptors for the throes of love as we can hope to find
.’’
 
Ralph Wilson, Life Framer
                                           
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Love begins with an encounter… A visual encounter first: imagined, imaginable – fantasized, fantasizable by one self through another…

Love allows one to overcome the self: it’s a projection into life, an attempt to live, to exist – something that is only possible with the other. Then, this projection forms: the indefinite moments of first kisses, first nude bodies laying side by side together defining themselves little by little, and then undefining themselves again.

As much as love remains a mystery, it’s an evolution: one’s life is influenced by the other person’s life – so on and so forth…

Then, images appear – instants, memories…








© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved

The Struggle


(To be updated later)

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A concrete wall, a woman...
The doubts and certainties of life that intertwine in the perpetual movement of time, and come clearer through the picture…
My struggles with this time… The love that I strive for - a love that I keep on researching and that I keep on interrogating through the act of photographing. 
The coldness of the concrete wall, the warmth of my lover’s body that moves, shades, lightens up on this wall : she melts into this wall that reveals her doubts, her fears, her fragilities, her desires : it reveals her lights and her shadows - just as much as it reveals mine…
In some kind of mirror effect, the wall and I act as a reflection to her inner self - the wall and she act as a reflection to my inner self. What happens within - what happens between her and I, through this wall on which we project ourselves : photography reveals it all.





© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved

Departures


Traveling at the South / East-South Borders of the European Union 


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The departure, it's the impulsion at the point 'i' of a passage towards an unknown point 'x', and it is all that this movement implicates.
It's the departure of the child who, discovering life elsewhere, out of a ''home'' - and who, encountering other destinies than his, other sounds, views, spaces - goes towards adulthood; it's the memory that forms as much as it deforms itself...

Around 2017, moved by my curiosity and by the solar aspects that I already felt during a life time in Greece, I started traveling to the South / East-South borders of the European Union - to those ''entry-exit'' points of this confort zone : in the balkans, in Moldova, in Ukraine : towards those places that became almost-deserts, emptied of their youth, of their wealth - because of war, crisis,
exodus...






© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved

Departures II

(Land)



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At a time of doubts, far from a Europe that makes me flee - doubts fueled by global tension -
a ’’general plan’’ : rises in extremism, fanaticism, racism, recession,  Brexit, covid, war in Ukraine...
My eyes are lost in the far-aways, on a beach of Tel Aviv that writes poems with her waves - come to rest on her sands...
A photo, then another : des 'clics'.
Photographing more, I started conceiving and really understanding the sand as a foundation :
the foundation of spiritualities, of cities, of an economy : of a people.
More broadly, this work stems from a reflection on roots, human nature and on social-cultural heritage.
It’s a homage to the History and to the spirit of Israel.









© Simon Beraud - 2024 - All Rights Reserved

Sketches