The images capture not only the topography of the island but also the daily life of the inhabitants Chapillon encountered on his multiple journeys, highlighting their everyday isolation and relationship to traditions and heritage with an intimate lens. Shot with a medium format film camera, the visuals are in close dialogue with travelogues by archaeologist Gaston Deschamps, which, appearing only as words or pieces of sentences, reproduce the islands’s complex sensations while relating to the inhabitants’ thoughts and visions.
A state of mind that is a key characteristic of the islanders’ existence, isolation emerges as the confinement of both body and soul, but also as a polarity—both light and dark, both central and peripheral. Chapillon depicts Amorgos as a world unto itself, a land that holds all the opposites within one confined space, but also a complex place in which the whiteness of its houses and the tawny beauty of its rocks hide an eerie and somewhat disturbing strangeness. Is this the definition of islandness? For him, it is ultimately an ambivalent and paradoxical concept, a place to forget oneself, but also to reveal oneself, an idea that is both reassuring and worrying, trapped between eternal boredom and the freedom of a simpler existence.
Les rochers fauves is published by Dune Editions and available for purchase here.