A few laundromats in Rennes have turned into filming locations for one night. Invested with a technical team and actors or musicians ready to perform, these everyday places become the muse of Tanguy Carrée. This artist from Rennes, a former canoe-kayak professional, took hold of this universe for his Washing Lights project. He presents the fruit of his work at 4Bis, from January 4 to 27, 2023.

Tanguy Carrée, surrounded by members of his team, exhibits his Washing Lights series at 4Bis in Rennes until January 27, 2023. (Tanguy Carrée)

Diving in a laundromat

“It’s an interesting place because it’s very visual, and you meet lots of different people there,” explains the 24-year-old photographer. Far from being populated by students, these laundromats are home to forty-somethings, seniors, younger people, from here and elsewhere. “They are all there for the same thing, everyone is waiting. It is a microcosm that inspires”. Each of the photos tells a story, shifting the viewer from a parody of 80s music videos to a universe of SF. “The story is quite strong, but everyone can see different things in it,” says Tanguy Carrée.

Night photos, constraint or artistic will

“It’s a constraint but it’s also the possibility of reinventing all the lighting”, appreciates the photographer. After visiting all the laundromats in Rennes, Tanguy selected 8: “All the owners were receptive”. Some agree to close earlier to the public, others postpone the automatic closing timer so that they slip in in the middle of the night. On a limited time, the shooting is set up. For 5 nights, with his film crew, they invade the premises and kindly make a mess. “We reinvented the atmosphere with the colors or the objects in the decor”.

Washing Lights photo exhibition
Tanguy Carrée shot his Washing Lights series in laundromats, like here, rue de Penhoët in Rennes. (Tanguy Carrée)

Solo project, teamwork

“I visualize my photo, I know what I have in mind. It is inspired by film images, photos of furniture, tapestry patterns, makeup and hairstyles”. This visual moodboard is shared with the members of the team, whom Tanguy met on professional shoots or in studies. Everyone adds their own touch to the project. “There are things I don’t know how to do, it helps to raise the level.” A colorist and a VFX operator, for example, polish the photos in post-production. The interest of surrounding yourself with a team of professionals? “It allows you to anticipate possible problems, there are always some. The more prepared you are, the fewer problems there are, the closer you are to the desired result,” explains the former sportsman. This mentality of perfection, of competitiveness, remains deeply rooted in his artistic practice.

Washing Lights photo exhibition
Tanguy Carrée’s grandparents lent themselves to the game for this photograph from the Washing Lights series, exhibited at 4Bis in Rennes. (Tanguy Carrée)

Family stories

A team of professionals, but not only. In the models in his photos, Tanguy mainly selects “people related to history”. One of his creations is inspired by music videos from the 80s, between crazy psychedelic and unplugged keyboard. He turns to 3 friends, musicians from Rennes, with “faces to photograph”. Logical to invite them to shoot. On another photo, it is a former friend of sports studies in canoe-kayak which lends itself to the game of lifting dumbbells in laundromat. His favorite creation, however? “The ones with the grandparents – they’re mine,” he admits with a laugh. “It was great to be able to photograph them.” Completely removed from the art world, they lent themselves to the exercise, between apprehension and pleasure. To be discovered, at 4Bis, by January 27.

Washing Lights, a photo exhibition by Tanguy Carrée, at 4Bis, cour des Alliés in Rennes, from January 4 to 27. Possibility to order postcards, posters and paintings of the photographs exhibited.

Rennes – When these laundromats in Rennes inspire a photographic project