A Talk with Agathe Rousselle on Why To Ditch Class

We wanted to know more about Agathe. Here is our interview, to learn a little bit about her and why she photographs.

Agathe Rousselle


Last March, you took a trip from your native Paris to San Francisco. Tell us about it.

In January 2016 I found myself at a very critical point. I was experiencing a massive nervous break down, being constantly harassed by anxiety and scared that I had became real nuts. I needed radical, substantial changes. On the same day I posted a Facebook status in order to move houses in Paris still, and I booked a both ways ticket to somewhere I’d never been. It had to be very very far, on a totally different time zone to avoid any direct contact from home. It also had to be a city where I didn’t know anyone. I had never been to the US, San Francisco sounded good.

How did making photographs play a role in your health?

Making photographs seemed vital to me as well as writing all the time. I didn’t realized it at that time, I just shot, shot and shot. A year later, the only explanation I have is that with my brain being smashed by neurosis, shooting was the most stable and physical thing I could rely on. It was real or made my environment feel real when my mind was sometimes doubting the very substance of life. It was kind of a way of keeping track of this inner journey.

You chose to only shoot film while abroad, shooting 35mm on an Olympus. Why film and not digital?

Taking pictures on film made a lot of sense on this trip for I needed physical, essential and real material. Film also has a lot to do with life and death and I was constantly navigating between both, so I guess this choice was accurate even if not really conscious.

You kept journals while away, writing (mostly?) in English. Was this a conscious choice?

One half of my journal was written in French and, if you flip it upside down, the other one in English. It wasn’t really conscious, I guess speaking English all the time put me in this position. Sometimes you can’t really say exactly what you want to express in one language, it’s just more confortable to pick the other one you know enough to do it right when it works better.

You are a model and do embroidery. How important are other outlets to you besides photography?

Modeling is something that I find very entertaining and fun, it’s like playing around. I probably like it because it’s not my main job, I can’t be bored. Embroidering, like taking pictures, has to do with maintaining an ok mental health as much as it is a very important medium. It makes me focus on something repetitive that requires care and precision and where your mind cannot really fly away for long. It’s close to meditation, which is something I also need in my life.

from "I Ditched Class and I Took a Bath"

You are a co-founder of Peach, a zine of work by a collective of female artists. How did this come about and where do you see it going?

With a very good friend we realized that we were surrounded by talented women. We also enjoyed the energy that comes out a group of girls, and this is how Peach was born: asking women from anywhere in the world to send us submissions related to a certain theme and making a printed zine with all that!

The second issue was released in January, we are looking forward to editing the next one, hoping there are going to be many nexts!

What advice do you have for young female artists who are hesitant to get out of their comfort zone?

Do whatever you wanna do, work a lot, everyday. Consider yourself as a potential, not as a weirdo who’s not capable of anything great. Just do things, create as much as you can and desacralize what other people think, don’t try to value your own work, just work and a line will slowly appear and get clearer as you work more.

Do you have a favourite photographer? If yes, who and why?

I admire loads of photographers. I love the work of Chad Moore because it has this very special relationship with intimacy, because of the lights and something both dreamy and brutal.

from "I Ditched Class and I Took a Bath"

What role does music play in your life and art?

Music is probably the most crucial point in my life and art. I’m extremely inspired by music itself but also by the musicians I love the most, for their aesthetic as much as their lyrics, their views on life etc. I can think of Nick Cave, Kathleen Hanna, PJ Harvey, Morrissey, Arthur Russell, Siouxsie Sioux, Sean Nicholas Savage, Leonard Cohen, Elliott Smith…

What is your next photographic project? Where do you see yourself in a 10 years time?

I’m working on a project about teenage hood and on another one about men being muses.

I don’t really see myself in ten years! I only hope I’ll be able to live off my art, be ok with myself and at peace with my good old demons.


Agathe submitted her project a few weeks back, we fell in love and are making a book out of it,

ready for pre-order HERE!

“I Ditched Class and I Took a Bath” from ceiba on Vimeo.

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