Promotion de la Photographie de Presse en Région P.A.C.A.

F r o m p h o t o j o u r n a l i s m t o p h o t o g r a p h y

Serge Assier is a real press photographer, working for the local daily press. Thanks to this newspaper work, he has been very quick to acquire the journalistic acuteness that pushes you to be at the very heart of important events and visually emphasise the basic essentials. He has learnt the constraints of the profession from his paper ("Le Provencal"), constraints which often mean that professional and individual energy spent every day contributes to a collective product where the photograph unfortunately only has a subsidiary role to play. His region is his secret garden. The place where he is able to pursue his quest for photographic information as far as possible. His region is the privileged territory where his demanding nature as a journalist meets with his passion for photography.
The region is an entity which, strangely, has no boundaries. Serge Assier is as much at ease on the quayside in the port of Marseilles as in the abandoned factories of Longwy. Here, far from the spotlights of the media, life-stories are unwinding, stories which are just as important to show. Serge Assier is eager to unearth such stories : the work of the bargeman, the wedding on Saturday, the Sunday stroll, the family celebration, the changing seasons...
He accurately portrays the perpetual human cycle, at the same time showing on faces or places all the worries brought about by painful experiences and difficult times.

But let's speak more particularly about Serge Assier's photography. The images which tell the story of daily activities should describe facts, and not get bogged down in flourishes which blur the meaning of the image. That is the generally adopted point of view, and consequently, the most direct photographs are those which are removed first from newspapers and magazines to gain space, the pictures which, reduced to the simplest expression, kick the reader in the stomach and stir up emotions rather than reasoning. This is a defect of press photography that Serge Assier corrects using his spontaneous sensitivity. And all the miracles of the human eye are expressed in this photography which observes the subject and melts it into original forms. There are instants when Serge Assier finds a special style in his determination to grasp reality. He plays with graphics without abandoning the object of his attention. The roof of the deserted factory of La Semouze is an essay of lines of light which underline the desertion. The debris of a "celebration day in Thionville" is a daring and violent shot which measures all the intensity of a meeting never to be forgotten. These examples can throw some light on the way Serge Assier works. They are the first bricks of photographic work which uphold the modest fashion in which Serge Assier composes. His work is built on the empirical quest for structural identity with signs of recognition : harmony and contradiction in space, atmosphere, balanced colour, clarity...
But only Serge Assier himself can master his own discoveries, and like any other photographer, he stands in the pathway of light to try to control its source and distribute to us what the light is trying to show.



Lorraine of the canals
with the muffled sound of waves
breaking on the lock,
from the forced passage
a barge-dog barks
as it travels your
man-made arteries.
Lorraine of the people
with their doors wide open,
an open sesame of the heart
smelling of fresh coffee
with an undertone of mirabelle plums,
roots are put down
for eternity.
Lorraine of the seasons
with your fiery red sun,
your chameleon leaves
will end the autumn
in your winter,
pearls of frost
colliding with the scents of spring.
Apocalyptic Lorraine
your metal tear-drops
are the sculpture of our age
they flow through your veins,
ruined factory
that will rise from the ashes
beneath a silver sun.
Lorraine of freedom
forever celebrating
the sacred marriage
of perfected tradition,
a quick glance
at the light-filled joy
of wheat-fields stretching to the horizon.
Lorraine of the passions,
you brought me life
by me giving love
through this cherished child,
a share of happiness
engraved on my heart
will always bring me back.
Lorraine of memory
where my life has unfolded
for ten years already
you have given me so much
and so modestly
I want to bring you
an image of reality to immortalise you.

Serge Assier

T h e G h o s t S h i p

Day dawns
the earth cracks,
this rich earth
on which water once streamed
like a ghost ship
made of silvered tiles.
The tip of a bell-tower
stands out from the mist.
The key of the grey shawl
walks this place
to the castle of Orthie
breaking from the waves
glass walls fall
as time stops,
Baroque in this weather
of a betrayed life,
a girl's skirt
crosses the horizon
already crossed by the rails
gold-tinted water
a paltry setting
but noble for all that
where the promised land
of a ruined valley.
with the cries of children.

Serge Assier

Photo 39 Songs of Lorraine

Retour à l'accueil   Retour à l'index des traductions