Despite having been introduced to photography as a teenager, it wasn’t until the age of 21 while studying political science and economy, that Hermes Pichon realised that his passion for photography could be much more than just a hobby.
“I am, among many things, a documentary and street photographer. My practice of photography basically involves luck, hope and contrast. I’m looking for the same things that everybody does; a sense of purpose, new experiences, love, a place to stay. And also for some other things that might be less common; the Russian Soul, a perfect blue sky, the hardest way to do certain things, a pair of grey eyes…
I have this impression that sometimes when looking at photographic work or a movie documentary, we forget about the people behind the camera; in fiction and entertainment that really makes sense and that abstraction from the reality is also part of what can make a good movie. When it comes to photography, I can’t help but acknowledge that someone shot that, someone was there, either you pay attention to it or not. This project, Silent Moscow, really emphasizes that.
This is a really personal work; I could hide it behind a random night/street photography project, but it has nothing to do with that and, in the same way, these pictures aren’t about Moscow. These are a psychological self-portrait, they reflect my state of mind at that time. Night photography was a pretext to drown in the darkest places of the city, the same way and for the same reasons one can drown in alcohol. Disappointed by life and submerged in pain; in this paradoxical and double process of self-destruction and a search for relief.
Night after night walking empty streets, visiting parking lots, construction sites and warehouses. Taking a random metro to a random destination, being cold for hours, nearly lost half of the time, really lost sometimes. Choosing the darkest streets, counter-intuitive choices, one after another. That was the process. The city was the blank page I could write my pain on, and photography, the silent way to let it out.”
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All images copyright Hermes Pichon.