This article is part of a four-part series of articles about the exhibition Pas de Deux in Lyon. Following our first article about the exhibition, you can now read an interview with Rémy Mathieu, one of the curators of the exhibition. We asked him ten questions, which he answers in this article.
What is your academic background? What is your professional background?
My career is a bit atypical. My basic education was a technical apprenticeship, followed by employment in industry. Then in 1985 I reoriented myself and entered the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. After the three years of training, I worked for three years in a large professional laboratory in Lyon as head of production supervision, finally starting a career as a photography teacher. In parallel, I actively participate in the actions of the Gallery Vrais -Rêves since 1984, until 2009 when I took over the presidency. For many years I have also been active as a photographer and writer.
What do you like most about art?
There is no art without artists. What I like most about this activity is the relationship with the artists and the exchange with the public.
Why did you choose Lyon for your job?
I am neither from Lyon nor from the region. It was the coincidences of life that brought me here. And it was here that I met the creators of the gallery. The gallery could have moved to Paris, for example, but it probably would not have survived the move.
What does your job bring you on a personal level?
Actually, a lot of satisfaction. I think we can be quite proud of what we have done, of what we have produced. I say "we" because the work of the gallery is a collective action that has been carried out for over 40 years, and we can be proud of that as well.
When did you develop your interest in art?
My interest in art relates to my interest in photography. And this interest has followed me since I was a child.
When you were a child, did you have a different idea of your profession and is it different from your current profession?
As a child I had two different professions in mind: photographer and carpenter. Photography caught on very quickly.
Is there a particular person who has profoundly influenced you, or did you have a special moment related to art that affected you personally?
Many things and people have influenced me. We are all the fruit of the pollen we feed on. In art, it is important to collect a lot while knowing exactly what you are looking for.
What does a typical day in your profession look like?
I do not have a typical day. Between my teaching at school, the gallery, and my work as a writer, the days are well filled. These 3 activities follow each other and sometimes overlap, they complement and contrast each other, but most importantly they enrich each other.
Which artist's art attracts your attention the most?
Duane Michals, of course, the author of the 1974 book True Dreams, which gave the gallery its namesake. I also have a great interest in the photographic artists of the 1920s and '30s. It was they who invented photographic type.
What are your plans regarding your gallery?
To continue, to continue to discover new artists, new works, new photographic expressions. Continue to share.
Many thanks to Mr. Mathieu for his time and participation in this interview.
Galerie Vrais Reves
Rue Dumenge 6
69004 Lyon, France
Bénédicte Rochette, born April 10, 2001 in Le Puy-en-Velay in France
Studies: Languages and Economy
Internship: from March to July 2022 at Studio Thomas Kellner
Specials interests: Travelling, reading, writting.