Believing in yourself, looking to the future, here or elsewhere, a better future in any case, is this not one of the greatest challenges that each of us must face as teenagers when we arrive at this crucial question: “what do you want to do when you grow up?” It is not just a question of choosing a profession but of considering the future more broadly – your chosen path, the endless possibilities, a promise to your childhood self.
This project by Jérôme Blin, as part of the second edition of the Ruralité(s) creative residency programme, is a continuation of his photographic work on the rural world and suburbs. This time, Blin wanted to focus on the young people in the countryside faced with difficult choices, between here and there, between staying or leaving everything behind in order to return later, possibly all the better for it. Blin’s photography takes a documentary approach but comfortably accommodates a sensitive view of the people he meets and creates stories and characters through his photographic tales.
Originally from Redon and the world of farming, Blin spent a few years working in the industry sector before becoming a photographer. Many of his photographic works echo his own personal journey. His view of the youth in a rural area that he knows well offers some personal insight into the personal and professional paths taken by these young adults, students and apprentices faced with their first big decisions.
“I strive for openness in photography, photography that starts out with the documentary aspect as a baseline, without neglecting its sensitive, poetic and aesthetic aspects, and which lets an element of fiction into the picture. […] I use reality as a starting point and let those contemplating the pictures do the rest.” In this project, Jérôme Blin recreates frescos that invent relationships and new landscapes, giving the audience an imaginary space revolving around the faces of these teenagers placed in the spotlight. These portraits and the landscapes that accompany them represent hope but also the personal hardships to which we can all relate. This series, which mixes colour and black and white photography, has a universal, timeless feel that reflects the choices we all have to make during the challenging transition to adulthood.