Florent Tanet creates a quarantine series from the roof of his window
With projects paused or cancelled when lockdown came into action, in France, photographer Florent Tanet looked upwards for a new source of inspiration.
- Lucy Bourton
- 23 June 2020
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
The photographer Florent Tanet is well known for his ability to create photographic landscapes with the oddest of objects. For instance, the last time we wrote about the Paris-based artist, we covered his unlikely fish tanks made from interior objects. It’s this same ingenious ability to look at something a little differently from its everyday use which has led to his latest project: A Picnic On My Velux.
Like many a photographer unable to shoot models or source props due to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, Florent began his quarantine by searching for “another rhythm of life”. In France in particular, the photographer describes the quarantine time as “rather sudden for us”, with projects or plans quickly halted with little warning meaning “we had to adapt to the situation very quickly,” he says. Paradoxically however, this “gave me a form of freedom in my work,” as he describes, finding that these new, unavoidable conditions were “rather inspiring for me”, and a rare opportunity “to focus on my personal work.”
This began by looking around him, specifically looking up at the large velux window the photographer has on his roof. “What is interesting with velux is that it is turned only towards the sky, it does not give us direct access to the social world and does not show us external life,” says Florent, when describing the initial thought starters of his newest series. “The window is an important reference in philosophy and art history and it took on its full meaning in this period of confinement.”
Finding that this new view above him “perfectly represented the paradoxical feeling that one can have with the quarantine time,” in being both a vision of “total isolation and at the same time, the fact of living the same thing universally,” Florent decided to interact with it, photographically. By placing a series of objects chosen for their link to everyday life – such as the title suggests a picnic, or breakfast, or a game of dice – carefully on top of the window the photographer creates seemingly floating, in limbo still lifes, much like daily life still seems for many. As a result, the photographer has completed his challenge of capturing ordinary situations but as “something extraordinary”.
Although enforced by an opposite way of life that most (including Florent) are used to, A Picnic On My Velux fits thematically in with the rest of Florent’s work relatively simply. “I have always been interested in trivial, daily life or ordinary situations,” he says. “The quarantine time was an opportunity to observe this, through this window.”
GalleryFlorent Tanet: A Picnic On My Velux
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.