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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
February 2015 issue
Jours Blancs
by François Schaer
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Jours Blancs literally  meaning ‘white days’, is when visibility is greatly reduced on the ski slope due to the fog. Within this atmosphere, I take you on a surreal and poetic photographic journey, into the world of snow and ski, and document the workers behind the scenes of the ‘white gold’. My passion for mountains has been the starting point for this work. I have been looking at new and positive angles in which to create an enigmatic tale around the snow and ski world. Deliberately echoing 19th century Romantic imagery, my images of ski slopes reveal the originality of a ‘new contemporary landscape’. I focus on its intrinsic aesthetics, its extreme beauty. My work is far from condemning the degradation of the mountain landscape. Jours Blancs also goes behind the scenes of the snow and ski world: I set out to meet these snow workers and take unadorned portraits of them, thus revealing an unexpected insight related to mountain occupations in winter. A few images of sport competition complete this «shadow brochure» of the ski world. Choosing to photograph on days of white-out only, allows me to move into
another dimension, theatrical, a little like at the end of a performance after the curtain has fallen. The presence of objects on the ski runs seem immutable, set against a decor where a uniform white glow envelopes the skiers and bightens them; ski-ing becomes an extraordinary tale. The photographs were taken between 2011 and 2013 in the Swiss Alps.
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