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Arno Brignon
2018 - 2022

My journey started in 2018, travelling through 12 cities named after historical European capitals, located in the heart of America. It was a symbolic road trip, studying a country born of men who came from Europe and drove out indigenous populations; an introspective journey to question the links between our two continents. Is the American dream not an invention of the first settlers, themselves excluded from an old world – and in search of a new one where everything was possible? Segregation and racism, so prevalent in American society, have their roots in a slave trade established by Europe. So many common histories which, like family secrets, stay silent, repressed or distorted. There is an ambivalent relationship between our two continents, tinged with admiration and jealousy. A mutual detestation and love that makes us inseparable. 

There’s a sense of Robert Frank, Jack London, Dolores Marat or Wim Wenders in the path I followed. But beyond photographic heritage, the project draws on memories of my personal history; I remember my father's long absences on transatlantic business trips when I was a child. I never went with him. Today, my own projects often take me away from my family. In an attempt to break the cycle, this time we'll go together; my partner, my daughter and I. The relationship between family life and photographic work is always a complex balance, and intertwining family and photography in this way has lent my work an unprecedented intimacy.

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