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The Wayward Paths
2017

Cruising sites can be found everywhere but not just anywhere. Once located in the heart of urban centres, today they are nearly exclusively located on the city limits or outside of cities: disused industrials zones, scrublands, motorway rest areas, and coastal dunes... Autonomous and free spaces, their exact location escapes the consciousness of the non-initiated.

The Wayward Paths is an exploration of these sites of freedom where, despite the fear of police raids or gangs, despite threats of administrative closure, desires for free experiences between men of all ages and from all walks of life continue to be exercised.

Distancing itself from the sensationalism that could be involved in photographic work in the realm of sexuality, the project takes on the form of an investigation inspired by the social sciences and is deployed through various types of documents: photographs of landscapes, portraits on site, cartographies of the territories, and finally testimonials from users. These are heavily relied upon, serving as the basis for the research and guiding its progress.

The dialogue between these elements reveals the polysemic character of these spaces: a secret garden offering an escape from daily life, a place of silence connoting dreams or introspection, a wild territory reviving an animal relationship to others and to nature, a site of reappropriation of the experience of the digital age, and finally, a political site involving the re-conquest of a collective space, at once real and imaginary.

After five years of photographic work, The Wayward Paths is adopting in January 2017 a cross-media form. Along with the book object by Le Bec en L’Air, a radiophonic documentary creation have been added, based on a sensitive and poetic experience, produced by France Culture, and an exhibition in VU’ Gallery.

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