the essential Jean-Marie Périer, the photographer of the famous magazine of the Yé-yé period, “Salut les copains”, is the guest of honor at the Figeac Gift Show, next weekend. Meet this brilliant “dilettante” photographer.
Your years 1960 were “the time of friends and adventure”. Do you think about it with nostalgia, or thinking to yourself: how lucky I was?
Of course I think of it with nostalgia. First of all, I would rather be 25 than soon 82. I started thanks to the newspaper “Salut les copains” at the same time as the generation of young artists of the years 82, I knew them all teenagers, from Françoise Hardy or Sylvie Vartan, the Beatles or Mick Jagger; they were all the same age.
Did you then consider yourself as a journalist in the midst of more or less friendly artists, or as one of them?
I never saw myself as a journalist, any more than a photographer, filmmaker or writer. I am a dilettante, I have always done things for pleasure, tenderness or crazy love, while possibly making a good living for my family. I was hardly older than all the singers and musicians of this new wave, so I spent more time living with them than photographing them. In addition, my affair with Françoise Hardy gave me a strange situation, I was doing the newspaper but I was also in it.
“It will soon be thirty years since it’s a gift for me to live in this region of Aveyron and Lot “
What motivated you to come and present your book “Chroniques d’un dilettante” at the Gift Fair?
Nathalie Capraro first, and then because of the name “Salon du Cadeau”. It will be almost thirty years since it was a gift for me to live in this region of Aveyron and Lot, and Figeac is one of them. And then this association is essentially female, it changes the male hegemony which is flourishing in our beautiful country.
When you look at your famous photo with so many artists, what first feeling do you get?
The simplicity of my relationship with them all. It didn’t take us more than three weeks to bring them together. The shooting lasted five minutes and then we had a drink.
Would such a photo be possible today?
No, today there are too many people around artists. They are all scared, They are obsessed with their image, at the time nobody ever asked me to see a photo before it appeared, nobody would have dared to ask that we do a “retouch” to the images . Paris Match had asked me to redo the same photo with the young artists of the years 1990. It took them seven months to get them together and there are two or three very important ones missing; they are not there because of those around them who thought it was not good for them to mix with others. As you can see, the party is over.
When we talk about the time of the Yé-yé, we immediately think of Jean-Marie Périer. Why you think ?
Because you will notice that around us a lot of artists are disappearing and soon, I will be one of the few who will remain to have known them all.
Guest of honor at the Figeac Gift Show next weekend
After the deletion of the edition 2020 due to Covid, the ladies of the Inner Wheel service club are happy to offer their 11 e Gift Fair, Saturday 25 and Sunday 28 November at the Mitterrand space in Figeac. A long-awaited fair for the wide range of products it presents.
Sweet or savory, to drink and to eat, to offer or have fun, there is always something to make him happy.
And icing on the cake, the guest of honor of the show is therefore Jean-Marie Périer. He will dedicate his books, Saturday from 14 h to 14 h and Sunday of 10 h 30 at 11 h 30.