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Produced during a residency in the United States, Sylvain Couzinet’s work Eden, NC plays on the perception of America in the popular imagination. Installed in an iconic building acquired specially for the series, he presents a view of American life from the inside.
Built in 1884, the old red-brick schoolhouse in Eden, North Carolina has become the home, studio and starting-point for a work in progress. From this unique vantage point, French photographer Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques offers an antidote to the photographic road-trip that has shaped our image of the American landscape.
In acquiring the picturesque building – both motif and backdrop its own right – Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques has immersed himself not only in a particular town and community, but also in local history and the image of America in the global imagination. Based on archive research, and encounters with local personalities, the residency in the studio-cum-house aims to break down the barriers between photographic genres by mingling fiction and documentary. This ‘sedentary journey of discovery’ culminates in an exhibition in autumn 2016, at the Aperture Foundation, New York, accompanied by a bilingual catalogue.
Part of the alliance between the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and the Aperture Foundation, ‘Immersion, a French American Photography Commission’ is an annual programme supporting translantic residencies for French and American photographers in turn. Sylvain Cousinet-Jacques (b.1983) was chosen from a shortlist of ten photographers proposed by Agnès Sire, director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, in her role as mentor for the first year of the programme.