MARCHE CELESTE  is the evidence of more than a year of nocturnal immersions in the Forest of Fontainebleau.

This project was conceived in response to my day to day life in the city: intense to be sure, but noisy, panting, often breathless, and sometimes deaf and blind when confronted with a neglected or forgotten original, whose necessary rediscovery is understood implicity.

The forest appeared to me as the possible source of this ancient dormant life, a place of evident physical and spiritual regeneration. In this meeting with myself and animated by the requirement of an intense experience, I wanted to depart alone, and at night, to meet this strange and fascinating world.

Sylvain Tesson said in his Little Treatise on the Immensity of the World: «Learning to stay alone, to live more densely.»

I then became aware of the heavy weight of our cultural past: it is rare to find a nocturnal scene in the forest that is not distressing, even threatening. During these rambles, there was a growing connection with the forest and the desire to account for my perceptions of it.

Letting myself be enveloped by the nocturnal atmosphere, the presence of animals, the infinite rustling of the vegetation, the soft music of the wind making the branches dance. All my senses were more and more awakened. Hearing is the most acute sense. Sight comes slowly as one becomes accustomed to the darkness. Finally smell. I found myself capturing various odors, sometimes obviously animals. To smell whithout seeing : I found the original meaning of an ancient man.

In these nocturnal love dialogues with nature, the cycles of the Moon exercise their manifest and powerful influence. The disc of its hypnotic light stops time while the light and the darkness dance a neverending waltz. The emblematic rocks of Fontainebleau take on the appearance of meteors coming from another world of light.

Several trips into the heart of this forest-world have made me appreciate these new landmarks, surprised to each time when I experience a growing sense of well-being. Nurtured by its power and enthralled by the energies it carries, the forest, animated by shadows and lights invited me to join an initiatory ritual. In the first and only meaning of this word. Initium, the beginning of another life. Thusly as I realized these images, I discovered the reflections of my inner forest at the same time, the architecture of my own luminous energies. Creating in the midst of nature is an act of intimate communion with the environment.

This mystical experience based on my direct encounter with the Elements awakened another connection, the one with the deepest of my being. The forest is one of the strongest incarnations of nature at its origins and a place of transition as well, a means to another state, for the one who is immersed. Our modern lives have erased, or at least have forgotten, as the Fox tells the Little Prince, the notion of a rite of passage; A time of transmission based on a strong experience, the need for confrontation, and a physical and moral test of meaning.


You can download the portfolio in English and French

Film directed by Maximilien Franco and produced by La Maison Noire