5Q2 - Clément Verger

Clément Verger tells us which photobook he is waiting for – in our format 5 questions to (5Q2), we talk to the artists of our Instagram takeovers about the work they show, their influences and upcoming plans. Clément Verger took over the account in April 2021.

Clément Verger studied graphic design at the ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres in Paris. He was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Grant that led him to London where he graduated from the MA in Photographic studies at the University of Westminster. In 2018 he was an artist in residency at the cite internationale des arts, the same year he was awarded the Grant for documentary from the CNAP.
In 2018-2019 he became a member of the Académie de France in Madrid, Casa de Velazquez and won the Prix du tirage CIPGP/Collection Bachelot & BNF in 2020 for his project Endeavour.
He has been developing a researched based work exploring the complex patterns of man’s influence on the landscape, through the transportation and implantation of species.
Fototreff: Did you encounter a special challenge while working on the project you’re showing?

Clément Verger: I really can’t complain on this specific project. It went really smoothly. I had been working on the research for a long time, Resolution being the second part of a trilogy started in 2016. So, I had already an idea of the direction of the project and I was well prepared. This creates a good recipe for me, a situation where I have a list of specific things I need to shoot, but also allowing time for discovery. I had the chance to receive a grant from the CNAP (centre national des arts plastique) which made this possible. For a trip on a remote island, on the far side of the world it went surprisingly well, and I just got lost once. I am also making a point to enjoy this part of my work as much as possible. Realizing that focusing on how it’s going to be on the opening night of the exhibition isn’t really what’s need to be appreciated, but really enjoying the process of conceiving and creating work.

Fototreff: Is there a photographer or artist who influenced you in a particular way?

Clément Verger: Sure, especially when I was studying photography and the first years of my practice. I was feeding a lot on well-known photographers, going to a lot of exhibitions and buying more photobooks that I should have at the time It was certainly important then. But in recent years I shifted more towards other mediums as well as scientists and historians’ work as a source of inspiration. I must add that the experiences I had doing long residencies with artists from different practices was very enriching. Discussions where the common ground is the creative process and not the gear you use is something that I found very constructive and stimulating.

Fototreff: Which (photo) book should everybody own (or you would like to have?

Clément Verger: Usually, the first one that comes to mind when asked this question is William Eggleston’s Guide. I not really sure why, but for me it is the quintessence of the photobook. My other classics would be Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi and Niagara.

The one I would like to have, or more that I am waiting for is Vasantha Yogananthan’s 7th and last book of its epic project a Myth of Two Souls. I have the first 6 and the last volume should be released in September by Chose Commune.

Fototreff: Can you recommend an exhibition we should go and see right away?

Clément Verger: Well, at the moment in France it is a bit difficult to see exhibitions sadly. Personally, I am looking forward to the “pierres précieuses” exhibit at the Museum d’histoire Naturelle in Paris. Also, the exhibition of Nicholas Floch at the FRAC PACA in Marseille that might reopen soon. In September at the Jeu de Paume opens a show called “Chefs d’oeuvre photographique du Moma » that I am sure would be a must see. I truly miss going to exhibitions. I am going to Paris next month and the galleries are open. So, I will certainly do a good tour of my favorites.

Fototreff: Have you started working on a new project? Any beans to spill?

Clément Verger: I am more or less always working on several projects at the same time. My work is research based and I built interconnected works over long periods. But the next important step is the third and last chapter of my Circumnavigations trilogy. Hopefully, this work will be shot mainly on Hawaii big island. But at the moment I focus on research, preparation, and grants applications. I hope soon enough the frontiers will be reopen and I get the chance to travel and finish this project started in 2016.

Thank you very much for this short interview and your takeover.

See this and other takeovers on the FOTOTREFF Berlin Instagram channel: