cultural architecture documentary photography France Jean Paul Soujol



// Jean Paul is based in a small town in Provence, France. He has been practicing photography for more than a decade. In a constant search for creativity and inspiration he started with landscape photography and moved towards minimalism with long exposure, square format and now towards abstraction with a plastic approach. His latest works, always minimalist and square, are part of a more conceptual vision.

The work lives from the way we look at it. It is not limited either to what it is or to the person who produced it, it is also made of the person who looks at it.

Pierre Soulages
(translated from French)

What draws you to the arts?

“What attracts me in art is especially contemporary art. I like abstraction, it allows to go beyond the imaginary. It is absolutely remarkable to see the creativity of the artists, there is no limit.”

What do you like best about your photography series of the Stadium?

“It strongly attracted me because it was an avant-garde building, a black concrete cube. This series was an intense photographic moment in emotion that’s why I present it to you.”

The series that Jean Paul presented to Spectaculum Magazine is different from what he usually does. It is called the “Stadium”. With its large interior it was a place used for concerts or sports matches. The Stadium is located in the town of Vitrolles, next to the large city of Marseille in the South of France.

The old stadium has long been abandoned for political, economic and cultural reasons. Its architect was Rudy Ricciotti, a great specialist in concrete architecture, including the MUCEM in Marseille.

“My photographic approach was to photograph this building in its current state of abandonment in order to show this financial and cultural mess. The tags have invaded the building like the ivy invades a tree. It is even a dangerous place, the police came to inform me not to stay there. I finished my work without lingering. Look at the amazing photo where on a door it is marked “Ne pas rentrer (Do not enter)”! I went anyway, the temptation was too strong, but alone, and plunged into darkness, I quickly came out…,” says Jean Paul.

He used a full frame camera on a tripod with graduated neutral filters. For some long exposure photos he added a neutral density filter. “If I chose black and white rather than colour for this series, it’s because black and white reinforces the graphics and gives a more dramatic side to the abandonment effect,” Jean Paul adds.

Click on the photos to see the full size image.


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

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