Winner LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017

Winner of the Prix Révélation Saif 2017 - Voies Off, Arles Festival

 

The youth of today live at a time where uncertainty about the future has attained epic proportions, fuelled by a distrust of politics, institutions and the media. The mass of contradictions created by past generations has left them with a lot of grey areas. As a result they are overcome with apprehension and a multifaceted anxiety about their place in a confused, changing world – a world without any reliable points of reference and a thousand different forms of violence.

It is this moment in life, a time of soul searching and self-discovery, that Coco Amardeil wanted to capture through her series of around twenty images. This generation that will make up the world of tomorrow – without having much of an idea of where they are going or what they want – is just trying to keep their heads above the sea of stimuli that surrounds them.

In order to reveal these emotions, Amardeil chooses to capture the moment a body emerges from water. She captures the transitional state that naturally evokes a variety of emotions: joy, fear, astonishment, confusion, tranquility. She seizes upon the instant when these adolescents break through the water’s surface and, in this isolated, abstract moment, while the truth of their emotions might remain inscrutable, their existence is undeniable.

The originality of this series stems from the intentional ambiguity of location juxtaposed with the precise and perfectly reproduced details that show every drop of water, every hair, every blemish. This sense of displacement is accentuated by the artificial quality of light that contrasts with the natural background effect created by the context of the image. The large format and quality of the prints heighten the sense of a reinvention of reality.