19 April 2017
Jean-Vincent Simonet (born 1991) graduated with high honors from ECAL in 2014. He has collaborated with Philippe Jarrigeon, Erik Kessel, Walter Pfeiffer and RVB Books, Novembre Magazine and Bruno Ceschel (Self Publish, Be Happy) and his works have been exhibited in Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and London. In 2015, Simonet won the Swiss Design Design Award and participated in Pla(t)form 2015 at Fotomuseum Winterthur, FOAM Talent 2015 in Amsterdam. Furthermore, he was part of the “Ones to Watch” of the British Journal of Photography 2016 selection. Simonet works in Lausanne where he juggles between commissioned photography, editorial and personal explorations.
Simonet is driven by his interest in books and gallery displays and recently started to work with magazines and the fashion industry. Using the traditional fashion mechanism as a tool to expand his own edgy experiments, he tries to propose a new approach to fashion photography. He often combines digital manipulations, hand made collages and traditional photography and thus develops an unique and contemporary way of story telling.
In the interview he talks about his idols and explains how interdisciplinarity influences the nature of his work.
Is design always interdisciplinary?
Maybe it’s not, but I think it should be. As a photographer, you always have to collaborate, before, during and after a shooting. Working with a great designer or an art director will give a bigger impact to your work. They offer another point of view and are less attached to your picture. Sometimes, they are the best people to judge or edit the work you did. Those are the more obvious collaborations, but we can also think about the stylist, the model, the assistants and other people surrounding you. They are all part of what you create. Photography could be considered as a lonely job, as you are the only one to click, but the way you interact with your environment will clearly change the nature of your work.
As I consider my practice to be linked to my personal life, I would say that design is much more than just interdisciplinary – it’s part of a gigantic network of relationships.
Must design create something new?
Design doesn’t have to create something new as long as the outcome makes you feel something. The relationship to newness is complicated in the field of photography. From CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to the increasing interest in analogue pictures, the boundaries of the medium are continuously challenged. A great book displaying an old photographic archive can be as powerful as a cutting edge 3D work. Emotions prevail newness.
Which designer has influenced you?
Having mentors or idols is important to me. But, it’s also important to kill your idols in order to develop your own work. Since I am working as a photographer, I have always admired the work of Araki, Juergen Teller and Danko Steiner. More recently I fell for Torbjørn Rødland and Roe Ethridge‘s books and exhibitions.