Uniformly-Coloured Images That Give Time To The Liminal Moment Between Narratives

In the recent photoseries Jungle from Reine Paradis, the tangerine-clad artist explores a trim concrete story-board; with sparse population of origami animals, the formal focus of the images takes centre stage, nodding to Surrealism in its sweeping rectilinears, smooth planes, and scattered array of objects. Reine has been living in LA for the past four years, absorbing the city’s light intensity and minimalist architecture into the spaces created in her work.


Anonymising her repeat appearance in the series by a turned face, Reine turns the work into a composition that straddles reality and imagination, photography and something more, by striking a fine balance between the personable cinematic scene and the quiet arrangement of the inanimate. The off-kilter exoticism of the series is irresistible, and here we delve further into what it is that inspires Reine’s work.


The Plus: Do you mind to share the message/story you want to deliver through the series?
Reine Paradis:
The photo series “Jungle” takes us on an introspective journey across a symbolic and chromatic world, projected above the limit of reality and imagination. For each scene, the mood or feeling is very different. There is no scene that would have the same emotion.
When I shoot, I don’t think about a character that could inspire this emotion. It really comes from the feeling of the scene. In some of the images, you don’t know if I’m alive or dead. For example, “Tennis.” Some of the postures are passive, some are dynamic, like the lake. But there is always this image of the film still, as if you were shooting a movie, and you paused it.
It’s as if you caught someone just before something happened. They are on the brink. In “Tennis,” the image could have been shot just after something happened. But again, you don’t know. I never had in mind that some specific thing happened. It’s an in-between moment.


TP: What was the creative process? How did you produce those images?
All the scenes are imagined and conceptualized before shooting in real locations. Once the scene is visualized in it’s entirety, I makes sketches and paint the scene to use as a blue print when photographing the final scene. All the costumes, accessories and origamis are meticulously designed and prepared according to the initial vision of the scene.

TP: Could you tell us a bit more about the new series you are working on?
I have already conceptualized all of the scenes. There will be fifteen in the series, the same number as this one. I would say it’s an evolution of the first series, but I don’t think it will be called “Jungle.”


TP: What led you to pick the select colours in this series? Blue, in particular features a lot: what does that mean to you?
The blue that I use is a Klein blue. Since I was maybe 14 years old, I always loved this color. It’s been my favorite color for the last fifteen years. I’m very drawn to this blue. I’m not really aware of the effects this blue has on me directly. But I’m sure there is something.
I feel, in my images, the blue is calmer. It’s the sky, the lake. It’s a peaceful color. I have been into this neon orange for a few years as well. The combination of the two colors came naturally. The orange is as intense as the blue, in its own way. […] The mint compliments the blue and the orange. Colors are very important in the visions of my series. I think with colors. Sometimes, I develop scenes just by using the colors.


TP: Please tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I’m originally from the Southwest of France, near Toulouse. I grew up in a very remote place, in the countryside. Not far from town, but my house was very remote. I went to art school in France. I didn’t go to photography school, but I was exposed to photography. Most of the time, I used photography for my projects. Again, it just came naturally with my work.