Paradise Now

Patrick Mourral, France

Paradise Now (extract of L‘archipel):
“Paradise now“ evokes a continent characterized by the blurred borders living in each of us. Patrick Mourral has been conducting a photographic quest for more than twenty years now, far from the world‘s wickedness, seeking to capture states of beatitude, osmosis with nature or grace. His models are found in communities, where utopia is the daily bread.

For several years, Patrick Mourral joined in various places in Europe of communities – most of them nomads – whose lifestyles alternative differs dramatically from the one that characterizes our society. And now he shows us, through a set of images quite consistent and convincing, how these diverse groups have chosen to realize their ideal.

He gave this title Archipel that may be understood as a metaphor: a world which is separated from the continent. Images express not only the proximity it has with those he photographs, but also of complicity, and with as much respect as attention, it describes marginality in everyday life, material conditions related to a sacrifice the comfort of today, a different pace of life, the sharing of goods and values, intense human interaction, the fusion of people with nature and many other yet. No religious ritual, but rather moments of serenity for a communion of bodies and minds.
These pictures strike us by the sincerity and honesty of the witness and that they could be considered as content for their documentary, which is not their only quality. Their shape, precise and clear, calm and silent, but neither story reflects, symbolizes the search for a balance, a harmony, the very next building, a sense of composition and color just an aesthetic restraint , are all traits that echoed the delicate quest in which these communities undertake.

Gabriel Bauret

Discover more: Shortlist 2020