2012 - 2015
Would you still recognize the sets of Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones, and The Affair without their characters? How well do movie sets replicate the places they’re inspired by? After going through the set of Sergio Leone movies in Andalusia, Mathieu Drouet photographed places tied to works of fiction during his trips to Louisiana (USA), Newfoundland (Canada), the Tabernas Desert (Spain), and Ghent (Belgium). With the house where the Amityville murders happened (which is not where the movies were shot), the set of The Hunger Games, a plantation in Louisiana, a statue of Superman - this series blurs the lines between reality and fiction, the spectacular and the memorable. While some locations are easily identifiable, others merely confirm the power that fictional stories have over our perception of the ordinary.
Juillet 2020 - Septembre 2021
Paths of Constraint
The contours of ’Tiny Roads’ follow the lockdown perimeter established in the province of Valencia at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, Mathieu Drouet captured the slower pace of life: closed factories, empty beaches, resorts without tourists, visible signs of the pandemic, along with the pockets of freedom he found within the sanitary restrictions, from stays at a local luxury hotel to gatherings at secluded villas with a small social circle: his partner and close friends.
The lockdown measures in Valencia created the frame of a limited perimeter. The images capture the city and its surroundings, emptied of residents and tourists, but also life in private villas and the sense of melancholic fantasy that hotels provide to locals.
Between the Second and Third Cataracts of the Nile
In 2004, Mathieu Drouet crossed paths with Francis Geus, archaeologist and head of the Egyptology Department at University of Lille III. As an intern, he traveled to Sudan with an archaeological safeguarding mission on the Island of Saï and in Nubia, where Sudanese and Europeans collaborate, and where the remains of different eras coexist, from post-Egyptian civilizations to medieval societies. The photographer captured scenes of camp life, landscapes of the Nile, and the excavation work at UNESCO sites, as well as official visits, the wildlife in the Pharaonic sites, and the daily life of the populations around the site. The images taken during this journey were forgotten for fifteen years, only to be rediscovered in 2020 with a more seasoned eye.
Attempt to Exhaust the American Dream
For few weeks, Mathieu Drouet and his partner Agathe Vuachet travel through the United States by train and car. With the sole constraint of spending Halloween in New Orleans, where they would attend a voodoo ceremony, this journey far from the major tourist attractions deconstructs Americana and tells the story of the United States just before the 2016 election of Donald Trump. From Chicago to Louisiana and from Memphis to Virginia, the images in Burnout depict Americans’ relationship to veterans, religion, leisure, and natural disasters, by deconstructing the cultural layers that make up the American Dream, but rarely illustrating the American Dream itself.