Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.
― Roman Payne, Europa: Limited Time Edition
Natural elements, encounters, freedom and intimacy are smoothly melting together in Theo Gosselin’s newest photo project „Sans limites”, created along his inspirational recent roadtrips across France, Spain, Scotland and US. He is telling a story about leaving aside all the limitations – physical, geographical, social or relationship based – in a spontaneous life-changing inner and outer roadtrip. It’s a bohemian adventure on how to live, body and soul, in a chameleonic exterior background, far away from a conformist lifestyle that one can easily control. It’s the story of his own life experience.
Theo Gosselin’s cobweb weaves around a cinematic photography style called sur le motif oren plein air (“of what the eye actually sees”) and his photographs are unique because those moments will never return. His creation is an art of the inquisitive, penetrating glance rather than a contemplative, passive one.
Traversing a world that appears to have sense only when there are people around, Theo manages to take the viewer in a voyeuristic trip by capturing the essence of a moment or a feeling. Quite poetically, his photos have their own sounds attached and draw us into the center of a very captivating redeeming journey.
How did you perceive the transition from the mere act of escape in “Avec Le Coeur” debut book to the idea of freedom as adventure and identifying oneself with the boundless road, getting lost in the wander and wonder of the experience itself ?
The transition between ‘Avec le coeur’ and ‘Sans limite’ is very smooth and logic… the subject is almost the same… but my new book is more about the outside. It’s a book about landscapes and people interacting with nature. It’s like in one day of travelling, from the morning to the night, you can be a voyeur and follow our lives on the road, from the inside. ‘Sans limites’ is wilder, stronger, a continuous transition between mountains and oceans. Escaping our lives to find freedom on the road.
How do you integrate the scenery in the storytelling this time? How did you intertwine the relation between the scenery and the people ?
The book is like a moving roll of film, the pictures create the idea of 24 hours of travelling. From the morning to the night, we explore different elements and places, forests, mountains, deserts… the mood of the travellers changes, sometimes there is a moist of melancholia, sometime it’s freedom, madness, love… It’s very intimate and at the same time all the people can find themselves in the pictures, because they talk about human feelings. It’s just young adults embracing life whilst lost in the middle of nowhere.
Tell me more about the roadtrips, the locations, the people you met along the way, the cultural impact they had on you and your photography.
In this new chapter, it’s a mix of different locations and road trips. There are pictures from Scotland, UK, France and a lot in the US (west coast, and south). Most of the people and the pictures mirror my friends or my love, but sometimes it’s people I met along the road during my journeys. Those meetings changed my life, they showed me their lives, and they invited me into their privacy. We shared beautiful moments in incredible locations. I just captured the beauty of the moment, to keep those memories with me forever. They taught me to enjoy life and time spent on the road, I learned how to see the beauty of humanity.
As the visual journey is focused on the present moments, how do you use that in order to explore the way the protagonists experience the idea of keeping the eyes wide opened while getting lost into the freedom of travelling ?
We just live, we stay what we are, we enjoy the beauty of travelling together, and its always amazing when you do it with the people you love. Pictures are not the goal, all we want to grasp is the idea of freedom, feeling free, doing what we want… And I take images of those beautiful moments, when a picture is real you can’t really feel the emotions, you can imagine how it was. The wind, the sun, the music…
What is your personal creed when it comes to limitations (exterior as well as interior) while preparing for a long journey ?
I think there are no limits. The only limit is the number of pictures on a roll of film and sometimes when I can’t take pictures during the night. We dont prepare a lot of things, we just need gas, money to eat and drink and good friends, all the rest is just chance, and that is why we love doing this…We never know what will happen. We follow our instinct… we follow the road… no rules, no masters… its only pure love and dreams.
What photographic techniques did you use to bring forth the glimpse of a life without boundaries?
Oh… I don’t know, I just try speak my heart and my mind in my pictures, i’m in love with film, analog cameras in general, there are perfect for what I want to do. They are not limitless, but that’s why I love them. For the rest , we just need to find the good places with the good people, and all together they create this glimpse, you have to do it with your heart, and beauty will be born from this wonderful mix.
Article by Rebeca Scurtu // beca[at]sundaymorningsattheriver.com