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Martine Fougeron

MMW 11: Nov 2011

Martine Fougeron was born and reared in France and studied at LFNY, Wellesley College and then at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. She has been living in New York and working as a photographer for the last ten years, having turned to photography after a successful career as a Creative Director of Perfumery where she was the 'nose of the noses' with 20 world-class perfumers. Martine completed the one-year program at the International Center of Photography in 2006.

Martine's personal project Tête-à-Tête is a series of intimate portraits of her two adolescent sons and their friends in New York and in France. It was presented in solo exhibitions at Gallery 339 in Philadelphia in 2010 and Peter Hay Halpert Gallery in New York in 2008 and has been featured in numerous group exhibitions in the US and Europe. The work is present in major pubic and private collections and Museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 
A book published by Steidl will be available in the Spring of 2012.

Fougeron has done editorial assignments for New York Magazine, The Sunday New York Times magazine and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker Magazine.

Martine participated in the November 2011 MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop. She had the following to say about her experience:

I always wondered how MediaStorm makes such compelling multi-media pieces. The beauty of a MediaStorm workshop is that you learn why and how.

Ultimately, the pieces are strong because they are about one person's story and how to best convey that person's inner voice. They are not about your story and your twist on the story. You are not just a photographer or a moviemaker, your art and skills are at the service of the subject's inner voice and dilemma which must be enunciated in an interesting manner.

Here is the key. The audio/video interview. Your first task is to get into the subject's head and bones to ask the right questions in the interview you conduct at the very beginning. This interview is the backbone of the edit and all you will be doing after. It is the subject's truth you will be at the service of in the story-telling. And that truth must have a universal resonance.

To give you an example, I rarely do abstract photography. When I interiorized the haunting feeling of emptiness and loss Joe was in because of the impossibility of knowing who his mother was, I lied down on the ground in Joe's back yard and took photos of the leafless trees out of focus, which were ominous.

Then it is up to you to do your own multi-media-project. You are empowered. But do not think it is easy. It is an art in many domains requiring an intense collaboration of talents: great interviewing technique, great video technique and strategy, exceptional editing skills, an affinity to music and lastly a gift in story-telling and editing combined not to talk of a particular sensitivity to music and tempo.

Broken Lines by Martine Fougeron, Richard Kendall, Frank de Ruiter and Simon Schorno

Joe Soll has spent half of his life searching for his birth parents, in the process he uncovered a mystery that’s haunted him for years.