The Straw Conspiracy Interview with Céline Pannetier
RAW Streetphoto Gallery in Rotterdam is known for producing vibrant exhibitions that show the artworks from experimental emergent artists. For the first seasonal exhibition of 2020, RAW Streetphoto Gallery invited Céline Pannetier, a French photographer, specialized in color gothic photography. Pannetier has introduced the issue of urbanisation as a well established and present theme in her most recent projects. The urbanised city of Barcelona is precisely the location where many of her projects have been born. The Mediterranean climate of Barcelona plays an important role in her artistic processes. The sun in Barcelona is a tool, Pannetier uses to give meaning and aesthetic quality to her art. The theme of her current series “The Straw Conspiracy” orbits around urban consumerism, irresponsible sustainability, and tourist gentrification- all of which are symptoms of an urbanised society. In this series, Pannetier has used the sun as a natural tool to create a strong contrast between light and dark. This is similar to the Chiaroscuros that predominated around Europe in the early phase of the High Renaissance. Nevertheless, instead of using paint, she manoeuvres the uncontrollable sunlight to her benefit. The Straw Conspiracy develops in el Mercado La Boqueria Market, an old market of Barcelona. This used to be a central food market where the local merchants supplied fresh products to the families living around the area and its visitors. The market has lost its original purpose, now, and it has become an attraction to the 13 million tourists that overwhelm Barcelona every year. The original nature of the market has drastically changed in the previous years and today the fruit and vegetable stalls are practically outnumbered by the takeaway stalls that are recognisable for overusing plastic products. The irony of the plastic overdose is that the suppliers of take-away food have to spend money repeatedly buying single-use plastic items. This series speaks about the lack of sustainability. Also, this series depicts a parallel narrative in the shadow. The shadows cast by the sun can be interpreted as turmoil or warmth, but essentially they are not meant to have a fixed meaning: the audience is encouraged to create their meaning through a mental conversation with photography.
To dive deeper into the secrets and artistic development of The Straw Conspiracy, the team from RAW Streetphoto Gallery interviewed Céline Pannetie.
What follows are the questions answered by Céline Pannetier.