When I arrived in Paris to further pursue my studies in photography, I found myself in an unfamiliar environment, very different from São Paulo, Brazil, where I was born and raised. For this reason, I began exploring the specificities of the Parisian architecture, looking for anything that could shed a light on something still unknown about this culture, something to learn more about its inhabitants. Then, I found it. An element that wasn’t visible from the streets: the cellar (or “cave” in French).
In Brazil I had never seen a cellar, so this was for me a wonderful discovery. I learned that most people in Paris use the cellar to store a whole range of things and sometimes even their owners don’t know what’s inside their cellars. Thus, I started photographing the cellars not only to talk about the function of this structure in the building, but more so to reflect upon the people who use them.
While researching about the subject I came across the “The Poetics of Space” of French thinker Gaston Bachelard (1884 - 1962), where he examines the poetic representations of the house and the essential qualities of space linked to the inner being. The attic corresponds to the spiritual elevation and the cellar, to the unconscious. These words of Bachelard have had a strong resonance in my approach to this project, notably in trying to put into words what I was looking to capture in my pictures of cellars: people’s unconscious.