« Telling a Story Together with Tex RubinowitzThe First Week of First Times »

Showing the Reality We Believe Inside - A Talk with Valerie Jouve

“Photography is not something that I can show, but something that can help me induce a feeling, a strong feeling that I felt.” This is how Valerie Jouve explains one of the aspects of her photographic practice. She takes pictures only after hours of preparation and heaps of sketches and notes. This year, she is teaching the Photography course for the second time to a dedicated group of artists. “It’s a good class,” she said, while we talked about her teaching approach and her ideas about the photography as a means of expression.


Valerie Jouve demonstrating how the 4x5 camera works


You have a very relaxed and individual approach. How do you approaching the teaching task laid before you?

The teaching for me means to accompany more than to instruct. I believe that people coming into my class already have some knowledge of the subject, so just giving them exercise is not my way. Mainly, I believe that each person individually has their own story to tell with photography.

How do you see photography when you talk to people?

Photography means so many different things. It’s a very open tool. But what I aim to teach is that making a picture, even a good picture, is not enough. A picture has to be more - a link to a thinking position in regard to the world. It’s how the photographer perceives the world in all aspects, a way of seeing with the brain. If we don’t have this, then what we have is a mere look. A photograph is therefore not real, it shows a way of thinking and defends the reality we believe on the inside.

Why did you choose to teach 4 by 5 camera?

Because it’s the base of photography. This is the camera obscura. And also a tool that you cannot use to make a snapshot. You really have to think about the image you want to construct, not to take. It’s all about the thinking and the sense the artist gives to the image.

Now that one week is over, you know your students, I saw they did some pictures. Where are you hoping to arrive by the end of the course?

Most of the students are really inside their own practice. I will accompany them on their way of learning how to organize a picture, how to put pictures in relation to each other and space, how to make people feel the image with their bodies and not only their eyes. This is the matter of mental construction, in between the picture making. I will never show the type of pictures where art object are shown one by one. For me, now, it doesn’t make sense.

What makes sense?

It makes sense if somebody goes to an exhibition and change their ideas a lot. If they get a different grasp of their previous view. In my work, I present a certain level of utopia, which is very important, because I construct my own landscape. Such a construction radiates into space in a certain way and this is what I think photography can do.


Valerie and Nina in the darkroom, preparing


Valerie Jouve and her class at the Summer Academy 2017




At the end of a slow and rainy Monday, I am looking forward to the Mark Van Yetter's Artist's Talk and some quiet time. With chocolate.


Read ya tomorrow!



24/07/17 17:31 Summer Academy 2017

No feedback yet

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be revealed on this site.

Allowed file extensions: gif, png, jpg & jpeg
Maximum allowed file size: 2.0 MB
(For my next comment on this site)
(Allow users to contact me through a message form -- Your email will not be revealed!)
This is a captcha-picture. It is used to prevent mass-access by robots.
Please enter the characters from the image above. (case insensitive)
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May  2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017