conceptual photography contemporary art digital photo art experimental photography fine art France Jean-Pierre Baud light painting photo art Wilfrid Rouff

600 KM/H


// Wilfrid is a French photographer and conceptual artist. He consistently tries to achieve abstraction with photography. His series 600 km/h is a combination of speed and chance, put together in visually interesting collages.

Wilfrid lives and works between France and New York. The use of his iPhone allows him an artistic freedom within the constraints imposed by mobile technology. This is a deliberate choice of a tool for creation, not for a lack of a professional camera.

We have previously featured Wilfrid´s painterly series of bathers in the magazine, and encourage you to check this for more information about the artist.

“Chance is my closest friend.”
(Le hasard est mon ami le plus intime.)

Gaëtan Faucer

What draws you to the arts?

“I am a practicing artist.”

What do you like best about your photo art?

“This work is about chance and the fact that I often choose to surrender to chance rather than control in my photographic practice.  When I was thirteen, playing with my first camera, something I was not expecting got into the frame of my picture. The resulting image became something other than I had intended. Chance had meddled with my intention. Since then, I have given chance a central place in my work, often reducing my choices and decisions as much as possible in the making of images. Depending on where I am sitting on the train, top or bottom cabin, what the light is outside and inside the train, the image will be different. Each time a surprise. I might even appear in the shot – or not.” 

For this series, using an Iphone, Wilfrid took photos through the window while two French high speed trains, the “TGV” (Train à Grande Vitesse), were crossing each other. 600 km/h is the total of the two speeds. The crossing lasted less than two seconds. Let us leave mathematics and physics aside and take the artist´s statement as an artistic expression of the time-space concept.

Wilfrid then assembled the pictures automaticaly following the exact order in which they were taken, using the contact-sheet mode of Photoshop. The result is a kind of abstract mosaic in which Chance (with a capital C) is central. “Each time, the mosaics are different, according to the light and the amount of pictures I coud take during such a short time,” Wilfrid adds. 

Wilfrid considers his projects of chance a throwback to the origins of photography: “I am convinced that Nicéphore Niepce’s first picture taken from his window sill was not a matter of choice for him. He just oriented his camera in the most convenient way in order to obtain a fixed image. This had to do with the weather, the light, the background etc., and it was close to his lab in order for him to be able to process his image as quickly as possible before it disappeared.”

So with this series, it is the wooooshing sound of the crossing train coming in the opposite direction that triggered Wilfrid´s idea and his shutter finger.  

Images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see a larger image with orginal proportions.


To see more of his photography visit Wilfrid´s website and his Instagram page.

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