Responding to her need to connect with others, Rania Matar captures the nuances of specific individuals while in quarantine, her subjects photographed through a door or window, connecting across barriers.
I was born in South West of France. My father was an amateur photographer, and his black and white portfolios were my first contact with photography, though I’ve never been really interested in classic art. I borrowed his camera and started taking my own photographs at the age of 17. Mostly shooting with analog black and white films, I spent a year developing and printing them in the darkroom of my high school’s photo club, then in Bordeaux University’s darkroom.
Some technical internships specialized in studio and black and white processing urged me to start taking pictures more like an author than like a technician. Beyond my technical taste for graphic framings, black and white and square format, meeting and photographing ordinary people, far from fashion, beauty and advertisement, is my driving force.
My first series is a seven months reportage about people living in my neighborhood, in typical countryside houses. Meeting them, learning from their experience and their lives confirmed my attraction for portrait photography. The second series mixed throughout, despite the lack of people in the frame, is full of their presence, and was a real challenge for me; taking pictures of my parents’ house, after having spent one year somewhere else.