When i pitched the idea of gutter france to olde’ JMG, told me hey we have got a guy from france who wants to be in the magazine. Fast forward – through the emails back and forth, me missing him in Paris and other dropped balls, fumbles by the home team- to a train station in Montpelier.

Jean-Marc Caracci was french in the southern way, laid back and cool yet still some what tense and agitated. i was late for my train, so we spoke quicky in the station. I told i enjoyed his pics, asked him what he was doing now.

“collecting unemployment” he said mater of factly.

This is France, collecting unemployment is a birth right that everyone envies and embraces.

Jean Marc handed me a dog eared cop of the book that he created on Man in the City.

i like the work it has a sense of aesthetic that spans the series, very graphic yet open. There is still something happening, it is a stolen moment.

the more interesting than the work itself was the way he decided to distribute the work. It had been exhibited in town halls all over Europe,  he would just send a DVD with all the images to the town for a set price it was up to them to the printing, framing and hanging.

But he told me the story went deeper than that. He had gone on all of these adventures for free using couch surfing, networks of friends, other artists he knew, and sympathetic strangers along the way.  and for him the story was about the adventure that he shared the people who helped him along the way, the doing it for nothing was part of the coup.

 “you’re going to late for training he said” looking up at the clock. We shook hands and I descended to the TGV.

train back to Paris, I thought about what it meant to be a photographer in the modern world. What was a picture worth?  in the new economy what was the best way to get once pictures out there, to find the balance between work and pleasure as a photographer. How much of our time was to be spent chasing around our collections and making our prints, dealing with generators and magazines. Do we need an agent? Or do we just need to rethink the way that we value and price our time? Looking back on the work I am inspired by its focus and span,  circling the continent and finding the threads that bind us in the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Too I long for his adventure,  to launder the couches and hostels of your looking for the balance looking for the picture to unfold in front of me a balance of lines and  frozen motion.

but the opening of his website it reads

“I hate traveling and explorers”

Claude Levi-Strauss

ha ha vive la france

Related posts: