Patrick Sagnes is an artist and photographer currently based in Paris. His main body of work called Legends are Fake focuses on the way we tell stories. His work is shaped around series on the topic of myths and legends questioning the intimate relationship between man and fiction narratives. A myth is a romanticized story concentrating on a key element such as a place, an object, a character. As time goes by and though oral transmission, the personal interpretations of each individual make the narrative richer turning this fictional chrysalis into universal facts.
A two-year graduate in archeology, art history and with an advanced Technician Diploma in audiovisual communication, he followed a photojournalism curricula at EMI-CFD and also has a scenario writing education at the Superior National Louis Lumière Paris XVIII school. A former photojournalist for international press, he keeps on applying this narrative principle to his personal projects.
6 Feet Apart
Patrick Sagnes chose to introduce us to his latest narrative, 6 Feet Apart, a personal response to the first wave of confinement.
« On Friday the 13th, I had barely finished my work day when I started feeling the first body aches. The verdict arrived quickly upon my return home: it’s hard to stand up, I’m icy, I shiver like never before. I lie down in bed. The fever is here, flooring me, I feel pain in my lungs, breathing is arduous. I’m suffocating. At 7pm, my neighbor, a doctor, comes by to check on me. Seeing the first symptoms, the diagnosis is there. Everything checks out; it’s a 99% chance it’s Coronavirus. At 8pm, I’m exhausted, trying to keep calm despite the chills. I’m scared but stay combative, ideas dancing in my head. I reason through it, crosschecking all the facts. Is it a normal flu? I don’t think so, since breathing is so difficult. Fear comes back again. Then my thoughts change, silence finally comes – heavy, suspicious, oppressive, I fall into a deep sleep. The following days will be as if I weren’t there, I sleep very deeply. The morning of the forth day, the fever was gone. In the mean time, on Monday, March 16th, the French President makes a speech to the nation announcing confinement. It’s a “war for health,” he says.
I live in a courtyard where there are nine houses – a preserved space, precious, especially in this period of confinement. Each day I count myself lucky, to be able to go outside without risk. We talk with our neighbors, terrace to terrace, at a good distance; collaboration begins. We quickly exchange favors: who will buy the vegetables, who has succeeded in finding flour. In short, life goes on. I decide to avoid anxiety-inducing news, and instead to testify, to embrace positivity. I offer my photographic services to my neighbors, commencing with a series of family portraits. Shooting the photos, we begin reminiscing, recalling landscapes, the places we all love: they’ve become so precious now. I decide to combine the portraits with much-missed landscapes.
As the story unfolded more menacing scenes from another series written in 2004 – The Day After – intertwined. Already evoking at the time the fragility of our environment through deserted and unwelcoming places.
The result is this cloud of images from a time the contours of which we cannot yet perceive. We are losing individual liberties like only wars can steal them from us, and at the same time, there is a human communion where time stops, revealing how devoid of meaning our lives are. Running always running, watch in hand, then suddenly everything brought to a halt. At first what struck me most was the silence. The silence that our society needed. One thing is sure: we woke up in the days after.
To view more of Patrick SAGNES’s work please visit their website.