David Carette, artistic audacity Fashion - 04 December 2018
(c) Serge Leblon
Scenography, fashion shoots, artistic direction, video, photography, clothing design…. David Carette has always presented himself as a multi-facetted creative professional. Today the story is taking a new twist: he is finally daring to define himself as an artist.
TLmag: Over the past years, well before the term “hybrid” appeared on everyone’s lips, you were already working with photography, scenography, directing short films and even sweater design?
David Carette: In applied arts, unlike in the field of art, working with several media enhances your precision and enables you to offer a complete approach. At the start of my career, I distanced myself from photography, the medium I had studied. I first worked as a graphic designer and artistic director. It was in this way that I renewed my interest in light and, ultimately, came back to photography. Over the years, I had specialised in the art of combining disciplines, but also bringing together different talents to give a real richness to my projects.
How do you select your projects?
At this area, my working methods are not the same as a year ago. Over the years, I felt the need to concentrate on creative projects where I completely mastered the specifications. For the first time in my career, I am daring to define myself as an artist. This new approach – which takes me away from the projects I have carried out for Belgian and foreign clients – is the result of a long personal journey.
How is this change of course manifesting itself?
Through two major projects: last April, I presented my photographic work in the Hotel Amigo. The exhibition, titled Ciao’ Amigo, offered a fantastical vision of the hotel. I was telling a story. When I show images or video, I make sure the audience can create their own drama and, hopefully, have an emotional experience. I also realised Off the Record, a short film that was shown at several festivals, including Cannes and Milan.
What motivates you in these artistic projects?
Having a completely free rein. In the past, only certain clients – such as Mercedes – gave me full creative freedom. I could no longer collaborate today with brands that would restrict my creative process.
You now have carte blanche for all your projects. As an artist does this blank page sometimes create anxiety?
That’s never happened. Not before, not now. As an artist, I am no longer under pressure from timing. If I don’t like what I am creating, I go back and start again. My creative process is lighter, emotionally, but revealing the results of my artistic work is not as easy as I had expected. During the vernissage for my exhibition, I had doubts. I was afraid people would not understand my purpose.
How would you explain your approach?
My commitment is more about my approach, rather than the content or form of my work. I try to impart my messages in a less frontal way, to present them gently and preferably with a smile. Just as I have freed myself from purely commercial collaborations, I have set myself apart from the art trade. In the same vein, in order to maintain maximum independence, I wanted to self-produce my short film. At this point in my life, I want peace and freedom.
Launched in 2013, your sweater brand, “Demain, il fera jour” (“tomorrow is another day”), which is also the name of your creative studio, is another way to be involved.
The message itself was already strong. People understood it right away. I intend to launch a new sweater model by returning to the fundamentals of the brand and the immediacy of this message. Today, as an artist, I need to be rooted in the present and in a specific place, and to express myself as broadly as possible, rather than trying to convince those who do not subscribe to my purpose. In that sense, I am more relaxed. I am looking with interest at the new generation of creatives. I am proud to be part of the dynamic that is moving Brussels right now. I travel less, incidentally.
Social networks have made some travel less necessary…
They make it possible to reach an international audience, but I want to keep some distance from these modes of communication. When I organised my exhibition, for example, I did not want to reveal the images on the canvas. I wanted visitors to feel a first-hand emotion, without it being unveiled beforehand.
An emotion that you also feel when you collaborate with other creatives or artists?
Rather than multiple ephemeral collaborations, I am interested, when creating a video or short film, in developing a lasting relationship with my director of photography or musical composer. I like the idea of not being in competition with someone, but of rather building a rich, intense dialogue with them. That’s what transport me today.
Interview by Marie Honnay
« Off the Record », the short film by David Carette, can be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo from the beginning of December, davidcarette.com
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