Presence — Alexandre d’Audiffret

Towards infinity, and beyond… Are we alone in the universe ? Why are we here ? What is the future of life on Earth ? Questions as old as our humanity, they find their most consoling expression in the photographs of Alexandre d’Audiffret. In contrast to apocalyptic accounts of the end of things and the world, the spectacle offered by his first book is an invitation to the vertigo of beauty and the conviction that it is there, all around us.

Diving into his images is an experience of meditation, of slowness, of attention, of poetry. The silence of the images responds to the inner silence that emerges from the depths of the stomach. 

How is the aesthetic of a look formed? Here, the photographer becomes one with the nature that surrounds him. Carried by his will to connect with the world, he leads us with him to contemplate it intensely, and the images seem to have imposed themselves on him. This first book is a gateway to a quest for truth, for purity, for the outpouring of emotions, for stripping away, for intimacy, for the Immutable.  It awakens in us our own capacity to welcome the beautiful and to serve it rather than to destroy it.

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Would photography be a writing with a non-linear orthography, which frees itself from time? Would photography be this universal language offered to the world, a gift that allows us to link past, present and future, a perception of time that brings us together?

Jaquette (maquette provisoire)

Cinema and photography

Photography and cinema are the theaters of numerous correspondences. Don’t the greatest films have in common that they have honored the greatest cinematographers that the 7th art has known? If the still image preceded the moving image in our history, this proximity is undoubtedly one of the keys to understanding the approach of Alexandre d’Audiffret. For if his work for directors is marked by his photographic eye, his photographs are, in echo, magical moments stolen from the beauty of the world, like paintings extracted from the film of our unconscious. 

Like a free electron who travels in several sensory spaces, Alexandre d’Audiffret produces a photography of contemplation and wisdom where emotion finds its place to emerge and catch us.

Arranging these still images within a book is another way of creating a narrative, of giving his work a form, a rhythm, sequences, as one would do to construct a film. Beyond the addition of individual images, it is a question of staging a sometimes complex whole, with the capacity to make emerge a new meaning to what appeared in isolation.


→ The book, a milestone 

This book is also a first book, a first milestone in the career of a photographer. It is the manifestation of a desire to show images, to stretch a thread between them, to diffuse a look, in short, to make it accessible to others by giving it a tangible form, which is offered and shared. An altruistic act, it also allows one to look behind, to give a form to the past.


→ A word from the author

“Photography is an inner journey even before being the testimony of a passing moment. I consider photography above all as a kind of Zen practice, the absence of the Self allowing the beauty of the relationship. I look for, or rather I feel, the beyond or the nature behind things. I deeply understand some primitive tribes who consider that photography can steal the soul. I think that the soul of things certainly infuses the film. And that is why an emotion can be born when looking at an image.”
Alexandre d’Audiffret

Z – TENTE – CHINE 2014



→ The preface, by Frédéric Gros
“Availability is a rare synthesis of abandonment and activity.”

Is photography for Alexandre d’Audiffret a pretext to go walking? Is walking rather a means to make oneself available to photography? In Marcher, une philosophie, Frédéric Gros summons Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Rousseau, Thoreau, Nerval, Kant to evoke the power of walking on the development of a thought or the birth of an aesthetic pleasure. In an impulse of freedom and a movement of disengagement, “walking alone manages to free us from the illusions of the indispensable“. Frédéric Gros reminds us that “the freedom in walking is to be nobody, because the body that walks has no history, just a stream of immemorial life.” 

Like a pilgrim, the photographer takes us with him on this journey through what could be a new presence in the world, another light, new colors. This impulse, this movement grows us, elevates us. The walker makes himself present to a fullness of Being.

In praise of the outside, of slowness, of full solitude, of welcoming silences, the words of Frédéric Gros will echo this quest for availability and resonance, dear to the philosopher Hartmut Rosa, which is offered to us through the musings of Alexandre d’Audiffret:  “All [his] faculties spontaneously agree to play together to freely shape the spectacle of the world. »


→ The photographer

Alexandre d’Audiffret is 36 years old and already has 20 years of photography and cinema behind him. As a cinematographer and director of photography, he uses his vision for advertising campaigns for prestigious brands (Azzaro, Chaumet, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Dior, Swarovski, L’Oréal) and for the production of documentaries. He was the chief operator of photographer Eric Valli for 3 years, with whom he travelled through China and brought back a series of black and white images, some of which are published in the book. He also collaborated with Peter Lindberg on certain shoots.

His practice of photography is a time granted to contemplation, to silence, far from the agitation of the world. Connected to the elements, available to welcome what comes to him, he considers that the image comes to him rather than he summons it, leaving all the room to the emotions born from this presence in the world.

His search is reminiscent of mindfulness experiences, the concepts of non-duality or the values of Buddhism. Like an aesthete or a Zen poet, he transmits through his images this force of truth which is expressed when the individual succeeds in abandoning everything: his ego, his ambition, his intellect, his concerns. This serenity, this depth of the soul, this capacity to be “here and now”, this alignment between the soul and the body, are manifested with infinite power in each of his photographs. The beautiful is there, before our eyes, accessible, ethereal, pure, right, simple.

This stripping down of the image is an echo of the experience of stripping down that has been his over the years, when every superfluous layer disappears, when one manages to go to the essential. When he connects with what he is contemplating, the image becomes obvious. The absence of self is an absolute presence to otherness.

Alexandre d’Audiffret is also a musician. His work proves that with photography he has reached a kind of chord between the external world and the internal world.


The normal axis of cosmic reverie is that along which the sensible universe is transformed into a universe of beauty.” → Gaston Bachelard

→ The book: an entry into quietude

In this book, telling a story, linking images, is to immerse oneself in beauty and to get rid of the superfluous. It is to lead the reader into the meanders of an emotion that will be born from a feeling of peace, serenity, simplicity. Some images invite to reverie, to the imagination of a dreamlike world where colors spring up in the heart of a cottony cloud or an abstract form as only Nature knows how to generate them.

Others, in black & white, show landscapes of forests or mountains. Some of them lead us to follow an infinite horizon line; this line is sometimes surprised by a mound of vegetation or a frame placed there almost inadvertently.

Most are devoid of any human presence, but multiple forms of life, in all their power, are celebrated everywhere: the water of a bluish lake where a reed stands, the air of a bird’s flight, the fire of an irruption of light in the starry night, the raw rock of a glowing earth.

Our journey through the pages produces enchantment and plenitude. In a world saturated with images where everything goes too fast, it is important to know how to stop on the images, to breathe deeply, to plunge into them, to close our eyes and to let ourselves be carried, slowly, gently, by what rises.

If one imagines the photographer alone in the middle of the immensity of the world, it is a world filled with presences which, at the end of this long process, awaits the spectator and reveals itself.

An eminently personal work, this first book is an inner journey into the unconscious of an artist as much as a tool to leave a trace of it. Alexandre d’Audiffret’s images go beyond the simple recording of reality, even if the latter remains the breeding ground for creation. Whether they result from mental images or from the magic of a perfect connection between the eye that sees, the hand that triggers, the soul that lets go and the heart that opens, the image, when printed, becomes a sensitive memory and the book an object whose scope can reach the universal by allowing access to a visible that escaped us until now.

At a time when the contemporary world seems staggered by the rise of violence, by the return of war, by strong tensions between powers, communities and individuals, this work finds a dissonant but indispensable place in photographic and editorial production. 

To remember the beauty of the world, to devote one’s vital energy to keeping traces of it, to succeed in transmitting a way of being intimately present in space and time, this is the relevance of these images that is offered to us. “There is a meeting between the memory of each individual and the memory of the world, the collective memory”, as said Daido Moriyama in Conversations, interviewed by Rémi Coignet (2014).


The photographer (…) can share the wonder that seized him when he found himself in front of a peasant, a light, a moment that delighted his spirit.” → Matthieu Ricard

 → The book: an object — The words of the artistic director, Marie Bondeelle

The jacket of this book is a meeting, the fold makes coincide the child dashing towards the sky and the flight of the bird. One more gesture and we dive into the depths of the water… Under the folding, the sober cover is material, tangible.

The layout invites us to wander around, to which the photographer invites us. He welcomes the world as it presents itself, in its immensity and fragility.

The space of the page welcomes these encounters: the white disappears in front of the infinite space, reinvests the space to underline the transience of a moment. Balancing on both sides, it puts the encounters in perspective and makes the fortuitous moments converge.

One does not hurry the meeting, one lets oneself be guided, it happens with the wire of the pages.


40 photographs
Format 24×33 cm – portrait
* 68 interior pages  printed 7+7 on munken lynx or polar 170g handmade of 1.13
* Sirio endpapers without printing (Caffé)
* US jacket (opened 64 cm x 88 cm) printed 7/7 on Old Mill premium white 160g paper
* Sections of 8 pages with apparent seams – Bodoni binding
* 20/10 cardboard as front and back cover with cold stamping  


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Name Donate Amount Date
JEAN-BAPTISTE LATTE 55,00 April 14, 2023
Odil Porrua 55,00 April 10, 2023
Marina de Castro Cartier 100,00 April 09, 2023
Pierre-Jérôme d’AUDIFFRET 100,00 April 09, 2023
Amélie Boutry 30,00 April 08, 2023
Rudy Ortiz 55,00 April 07, 2023
valerie vidal 55,00 April 06, 2023
CAMILLE DE DUMAST 125,00 April 05, 2023
Olivier Robet 55,00 April 04, 2023
Christophe michel 100,00 April 03, 2023
Rodolphe d'Audiffret 55,00 April 01, 2023
thierry/Tara Latté 55,00 March 31, 2023
Christophe dAudiffret 125,00 March 30, 2023
Anonymous 100,00 March 30, 2023
Nina Labbe 55,00 March 29, 2023
Jean eudes Tesson 55,00 March 29, 2023
Maxence d'Audiffret 55,00 March 27, 2023
Jean yves Flandreau 55,00 March 25, 2023
Benedikt Bjarnason 100,00 March 23, 2023
Maximin d’Audiffret 290,00 March 23, 2023
Olivier d'Audiffret 2 000,00 March 23, 2023
Anonymous 400,00 March 23, 2023
Olivier d'Audiffret 400,00 March 23, 2023
Anonymous 1 500,00 March 23, 2023
Yves d'Audiffret 67,00 March 23, 2023
Clément d’Audiffret 55,00 March 23, 2023
Aurore d’AUDIFFRET 55,00 March 22, 2023
Anonymous 400,00 March 21, 2023


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