Yannick Fornacciari was born in South France and now lives in Montréal, Canada. He discovered photography when he discovered his first camera, which belonged to his father. His grand-father was a painter, and he was passionate about photography as well. Later, he went to university, and graduated in clinical psychology and psychoanalytic psychopathology in Marseille, 2011. His studies, and his work as a psychologist, brought him to a lot of subjects and questionings which he wanted to fold in his photographic work. Cultural and sexual identity, anxiety and pain for exemple, are recurent in his photographs and series. He has made some documentaries in France, United states and Canada, between 2011 and 2014 in French suburbs near Marseille, and in Montréal, especially with the feminist activism group “FEMEN”. In 2014, he joined the collective exhibition ” POLITICS OF FASHION/FASHION OF POLITICS” curated by Jeanne Baker.
He is strongly attached to photography tradition and technique. Analog method, black and white, but also a head-on raw approach of photography and portrait. The absence of corrections, but also the models choice. Inspired by the humanist, psychoanalytic and documentary approach, his work focuses on the notion of intimacy, norm and gender. He want to create strong images of the invisibles, the marginals, the forgotten. They are his main interest. Some times sensitive, often crude, his images move between romanticism and melancholia.
How do you choose your models? What qualities are you looking for?
Most of the time, I shoot non-professional models, because I am looking for a certain authenticity. I try to always focus on the individuality. I am looking for intense people, those we’re not used to seeing.
Do you prefer to work with people you know or with strangers? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
My work is focused on intimacy. At the beginning, I worked a lot with my family, my friends. It was necessary and interesting, but now I want to talk about other people’s reality. In general, my work is a sequence of expressions. This approach gives me the opportunity to build up documentary projects, where portraits become a testimony of social realities.
You often use black and white. How does this add to what you wanna show?
Analog black and white is the technique I learned first. I like the severe aspect of this method. It is very classical, but I see it as a tradition… Photographers who inspired me were always shooting in black and white. Depardon, Kudelka, Guibert and others. All of them have a huge influence on my work.
What is beautiful to you? What is ugly to you?
Beauty is everywhere. And I think photographers and artists in general are particularly conscious about that. But when it comes to portraits, a lot of them fall into easy stuff.. To take interesting shots you have to use a third eye, feel things. Go beyond what common sense tells you to appreciate. My eyes have no judgement. When I shoot I can think a disgusting thing is the most beautiful thing. This is not a question of personal values. I have to look further.
What was your most intense experience as a photographer so far?
Someone using a clitoris pump in front of my face. That was disturbing..
What are you working on at the moment? Any ongoing or upcoming projects to be looking out for?
I’m actually working on a project called EXPOSED which is a photo documentary about the trans community of Montreal. I have been following my models for more than one year now, going through transition, and I’m really excited about that.