Akatre is a French graphic design studio formed by Valentin Abad, Julien Dhivert and Sebastien Riveron, who work in a variety of fields including typography, graphic design, photography and video. Their photographic work is full with fresh and innovative ideas, exploring bizarre concepts and expressive color combinations. For more images visit www.akatre.com.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
« Contemporary Art Studio »
How did your photographic career start?
We all began to photograph at about the same time, during an artistic residency program. You become a photographer when you start shooting photos with a personal approach and by answering commercial problems.
What was your favourite project and why?
There are many beautiful projects – from artistic or photographic ones to publishing for books or Mother Magazine for example. But the last big challenge we realized was for the latest exhibition in the Museum of Decorative Arts (Paris, « Recto Verso », until February, 2015), as we presented a sculpture made out of 2,5 tons of wood. The sculpture is accompanied by an extensive book of 924 pages, which includes printed productions published in black and white. Music rounds of the experience of reading and establishes a classic atmosphere. The exhibition’s theme is announced in the first track. The walls are overlaid with videos, which explore our imagination, but also lunar landscapes that are connected with the sculpture and the entire imagined universe (view here
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Our artistic project for “My Provence Festival” was a real big challenge… We shot photos in inaccessible places with the permission of the departmental committee of the tourism of Bouches-du-Rhône. We photographed a sphere of 2,5m of diameter in magnificent lunar landscapes during the period of 4 days (view here
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
We had the privilege of working with the choreographer Cindy Van Acker. We love her for the rigor and very graphic aspect of her choreographic proposals. Working with Cindy was a real pleasure, because the skillset she offers is highly specialized. She is very respectful towards the artists she surrounds herself with and their artworks. We are attracted by the environment of dance and also created an ebook for the choreographer Myriam Gourfink and a scenography for Perrine Vall (Ciegreffe
). Drawn by the world of music, particularly the balance between image and sound, we were grateful for the chance to work with sound designer Jerome Echenoz (also known as the producer of electronic music under the pseudonym Tacteel). At the moment, we are collecting all tracks of our exhibitions, which we would like to edit if there was a label who wanted to help us.
What is your personal motto?
The first intuition is often good, although it is important to consider every detail of the work in order to be proud of the result.
How do you define creativity?
It’s the way to conceptualize everything we have in us and to find a solution to a problem.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
It is not easy to live of creativity… especially in France today. So keep faith and fight for your ideas, assume the position and functions of your future job. There is more to creativity than being independent. You must apply it everywhere and at every level so that better things can come. Believe in it.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
That it is difficult, and that only the work alone does not pay, unfortunately.
All images © Akatre