(extraits / extracts)

L'ENVOL, film, Noir et blanc, 35 mm, 20'16", 2010, France.

Photographies de Yo-Yo Gonthier, conception sonore de Corsin Vogel

- "En ce mois de février 2010, aux abords gelés de l’ancienne carrière du plateau d’Avron, un groupe d'adolescents achève les préparatifs et s'apprête, après des mois de préparation, à faire décoller un objet volant non identifié."

 "In February 2010, on the outskirts of the old frozen career, a group of teenagers finalizes, after months of preparation, an unidentified flying object ".


Un film de Yo-Yo Gonthier réalisé à partir des photographies de la série, conception sonore de Corsin Vogel
Documentaire expérimental photographique, Noir et blanc, 35 mm, 20'16", 2010, France.

Voir le film sur Vimeo (20:16) :



L'envol, (El Despegue), solo exhibition, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain, July 03rd - August 26th, 2012 : SALLA REKALDE

Art at school

From his workshop located on the first floor of the Collège Saint-Exupéry de Rosny-sous-Bois, Yo-Yo Gonthier brought paper aeroplanes, drawings and illustrations of flying machines, balloons and dirigibles into the daily routine of the centre. He suggested to the high-school students that they share in his fascination with the great explorers of the air and engage in a project that lasted some months and, above all, stimulated the imagination.

In the first encounters, contact was made with the subject in hand through visits to museums, by watching films and consulting documents. A call was then made inviting the whole centre to organise the launching of paper aeroplanes at playtime. More than 500 planes flew in the playground that day.

The following action was to launch balloons from the playground. Each balloon carried a message. The students were surprised by the results: weeks afterwards replies came in from all over the place. The balloons really had travelled very far.

The experience continued with a workshop devoted to printing flying machines and concluded with the building of two dirigibles, L’invisible and Le poisson lune, which the kids finally got to take off one afternoon in the playground.

The opposite of technological progress

The conception of the flying machines proved to be very fruitful from an educational point of view, because it set into play both the history of science and the world of fantastic stories. It also made it possible to approach multiple facets of artistic creation (drawing, engraving, writing, modelling and construction of the object). Yo-Yo Gonthier’s purpose, however, transcended educational objectives. The artist explains his interest in explorers who preceded the invention of aviation, conceived as a gaze looking back one hundred years in time, before the beginning of the technological race that our society is still grounded in. His proposal is to take a step backwards, placing ourselves at a point before the technical conquest of the air so as to let our imagination express itself freely. At the same time he poses an exercise of distancing both from the path that brought us to the present day, and from our dependence on technology. In the proposition the discourses of nostalgia and criticism stand side by side.

Visual and sound experimentation

Yo-Yo Gonthier’s personal work at the Saint-Exupéry High School was nourished by the experience shared with the children, who became the main actors in the experimental documentary that Yo-Yo entitled L'envol (Flightpath). The kids were portrayed close up by the photographer during the different stages of the experiment. In the work that resulted what can be seen is a transformation, growth. The artist led these young people onto the terrain of creation, where they discovered their potential and were able to sense their own "take off".

The narrative is constructed with black and white photographs that gradually follow one another, leaving the spectator time to venture into the tale offered by each child. The sound track was created by Corsin Vogel, lending rhythm to the film and incorporating testimony from its protagonists.

The flying of the airship in the high school playground also provided inspiration for the 5'52'' video The invisible, for which Corsin Vogel created the live sound. This time, the artist situates us within viewpoint of the air balloon just as it rises into the air and leaves the ground.