The work of Johann Fournier can be described as ethereal photography — images that break apart in front of the lens and become art. They are science and anatomy, music and philosophy all captured with a shutter. Fournier’s photographs are lucid dreams where the world is rotated and dead to gravity. There is an element of darkness and light in Fournier’s art that is necessary to x-ray life. Visible invisibility.
Ara: How do you create the antigravity effects in your photographs?
Johann Fournier: For me it’s more like an underwater effect or an oceanic feeling. I have no recipe
for this. It’s simply how I feel and how I see things : floating.
Ara: Where do you find the subjects for photographs?
Johann Fournier: Philosophy, poetry, music, movies, astronomy, here, everywhere.
Ara: Do you ever dream a photograph?
Johann Fournier: Some of my dreams look like my photographs, probably much as consequence… I dream my pictures more than I work my dream. There is an open door between the things I’m building awake and the ones I’m living asleep.
Ara: .Have you experimented with other types of art?
Johann Fournier: Yes, mostly videos’ but also music and theater.
Ara: Where have you exhibited your art?
Johann Fournier: Without checking… mostly in France but also Belgium, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece…
Ara: There is an anatomical and mathematical element to your work. Where did that idea originate ?
Johann Fournier: Ancient anatomy and science books. They are something strange and beautiful between science and superstition, between faith and knowledge… I still see a barbarian poetry in mathematics and astronomy.
Ara: Your work is also elemental. I see repeating themes of water and sky. Why are these themes attractive to not only you as the artist but to those who appreciate art?
Johann Fournier: This is probably related to this oceanic feeling, to limitlessness. The sensation of being part of everything and everything part of us. In my work, these themes are more than landscapes they are characters.
Ara: You have a keen interest in suspended insects and subjects in jars, fishbowls etc. Were you interested in the anatomy of insects as a child? Did you collect them?
Johann Fournier: I watched them a lot, mesmerized, and I still do. I did not collect them as child, but for my work I do now.
Ara: Is your work metaphorical ?
Johann Fournier: Yes, but never on purpose. I don’t use poetic image to describe mental concepts, my images are to be understood as real. I use poetry, symbols, and analogies… as alternative or additional sense, because they are legion, because I want to keep them all.
Ara: Your favorite piece of art by another artist?
Johann Fournier: It’s a day to day question, and today it’s Sally Mann’s book “Deep South”.
Ara: Your favorite music?
Johann Fournier: Mad world by Gary Jules could be a nice pick, all Nina Simone songs, Johann Sebastian Bach, Serge Gainsbourg, Nick Cave, Timber Timbre, Pink Floyd, Portishead, Philip Glass…
There’s a lot of music in my life and mostly sad songs. They are too many to choose one.
Ara: Have you ever written poetry? I see a lot of poetry in your photographs.
Johann Fournier: Yes, almost every day since the beginning. Words are necessary things. Poetry is my way in and my way out.
Ara: How would you describe your art?
Johann Fournier: I prefer not to. So, I’ll use few words. Poetical, melancholic, ethereal.
Ara: Your next project?
Johann Fournier: Something about dance, a series in duo with the painter Catherine Duchêne, and a book. Three at least to keep death and boredom away.
Ara: What is art? Is its meaning subjective?
Johann Fournier: Art is subjective and mostly, art is loneliness. Art is also, dancing, shadow-boxing, sparkles in the dark.