Deeply attached to places, the memories that they hold and the people who inhabit them, Raymond Meeks wished to confront a new environment in an approach that interweaves the individual and the collective. In June 2022, he and his family will settle near Calais in the north of France. In his home-cum-studio, he hopes to find the solitude necessary for his creative work, while also feeling close to the local population and the wider world, embodied by the camps that shelter refugees of all origins who have fled war-torn countries. The photographer intends to walk on a razor’s edge, engaging in a continuous dialogue between his own home – composed of four people who will recreate in France what he calls their “own little nation” – and the unknown and highly complex context in which they will temporarily live. This sensitive photographic project will play out between the interior and the exterior, between the intimate sphere and the wider community.
This series extends Raymond Meeks’s artistic approach, which centres on the ways in which human beings inhabit their world, thus causing the photographer himself to examine what links him to others. His daily existence, his family and his surrounding environment offer him endless material, which he treats with great sensitivity. Born in Columbus (Ohio) in 1963, Raymond Meeks stands out for the keen awareness with which he observes his immediate environment, and for the poetry that paradoxically emerges in his images. His work forms part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. He is also critically recognised for the care he applies to his artist’s books, which are often self-published.
As the sixth laureate of the Immersion programme, Raymond Meeks will be accompanied throughout his residency by David Campany, the Managing Director of Programs at the International Center of Photography in New York, and the mentor of this edition of Immersion. In 2021, the ICP became the American partner of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès for the programme, alongside the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in France. Raymond Meeks’s work will be exhibited at the ICP at the same time as the projects of Vasantha Yogananthan (the 2019 laureate) and Gregory Halpern (2018 laureate). In 2024, Raymond Meeks will present his work in a solo exhibition in France at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, and a bilingual publication will be devoted to the series.