France, the early 1990s. Techno was raging from deep within forests, abandoned factories, garages, sheds, basements and bunkers. The teenage Flavie Guerrand quickly became one of the conspirators of this clandestine nightlife, hungry for change and stimulated by the new experiences. “It was a brief moment in time where it felt like something really unique was happening” says Guerrand. Organizing these raves offered her a distinct form of spectatorship. A lens that enabled insightful depictions of the underground culture and the fresh, intense and unparalleled energy that bleeds from these spaces. This perspective is striking and evident in her work today.
She only began to film and photograph the lifestyles that are influencing her some years later while studying at the National School of Fine Arts in Nantes, France and Bourges, France. The legacy unravels further, when she moves to Berlin in 2009 and finds her space in the blooming queer scene.
Her work focuses on the communities created by the dancefloor, encapsulating the decadent youth both wild and fragile. In spontaneous style, she captures the state of her friends, electric and sexual behaviors. During the after and the after-after-parties, she crystalizes their beauty and erotic aura, their vulnerability and their strength. Portraits evolving in an environment where there is frustration, loneliness, abuse, anxiety and desire.
The after party, a contemporary symptom of pulling the rope to the end and momentarily escaping from the world; it maintains possibilities. “A generation galvanised by nightlife and subcultures can be a powerful force, it serves as an incubator for new ideas” she adds.
“I slid across the dancefloor” is an ongoing project, an attempt to organize her personal archive and share what she calls her Scopic impulses: to see more closely the object of one's desire, a certain sense of voyeurism. We find ourselves watching or feeling watched by her subjects in iconic clubs such as La Java in Paris, at Ficken3000 in Berlin or her numerous private after-parties. Guerrand's intimacy is as much an inspiration as it is a trigger, where consent and trust allow for the liberation of the subjects.
Blurred, moving, grainy appearance, ambient light, are the details that bring the viewer closer to conditions of the shooting. It shares the same spirit as the photographer but also the party people it captures. "The photographic gesture allows me to sharpen the awareness I have of my own existence," she says.