People keep asking about how long I have been a photographer
As far as I can remember it was in the mid-fifties, I was about seven by then and I was travelling in France with my parents.
They gave me a Kodak bellows folding camera which was the state of the art of the enlightened amateur league at the time.
I remember sitting in the car snapping at everything that appealed to my mind, the landscape unfolding like a colourful plasticine dream endlessly changing before my eyes.
Obviously I had the eerie feeling that all this was too good to be true, and at the end of the day discovered that there was no film in the camera.
But it did not really matter, since I realized that the images were somehow captured in my memory.
This project kept running in my mind, I strongly felt that one day I could do it again, but for real, it was the Frozen Road Movie that was spinning into a halt in my head, but it took a long wait of some fifty years, and the digital coming of age.
My relationship with photography and images in general has been deeply influenced by this early and frustrating non-start.
First photography job was in the glorious times Nikon F's, Hasselblad's and other Rollei's all gone now or almost.
Studied Law in Paris University just in time to get gassed and clubbed during the 1968 events which showed a spirit long gone in Europe and taught me that what makes a revolution what it is, really lies in its the aftermath.
Inclined to art rather than Law, concurrently carried-out a photography internship in the French State Television making prints of endless TV series and furniture while giving scant attention to the studies.
Developed interest in drawing and writing but this seemed a consuming activity especially when it is pursued as idealistic non-commercial personal research.
Against all odds, I opted for the Legal Advisory business.
During emotional unparalleled parallel life sequences, I wrote two notoriously unpublished poetry books in the 1990's.
Travelled quite a lot and finally got the sense that the world was changing so fast that it caught up with the dreams and nightmares alike; Realizing that the end of the yellow brick road was inescapably drawing closer I felt compelled to start keeping records and print the images in my head lest they would forever escape.
If at a time of carefree youth I chose the black-tie route instead of the creative-pack life, during all this time I gained some other unique experience that is now part of me, but felt that the circle would not be a complete circus if I did not somehow backtrack and question everything again and give a last cross-examination to my own life and experiences.
Typical Frozen Road Movie project consists in running around the world in more or less aimless quests, roosting on high bar stools for hours, dreaming of Hemingway and the impossible catch, just one click away…
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- Hugh Ardoin
- April 2014
- Niamey, Niger
- I am: