The photographic process of wet plate collodion was a common 19th century photographic process that is now seeing a small revival today with photographers searching for alternative processing techniques.
Traditionally a glass or tin surface is coated with light-sensitive chemistry, exposed in camera, and developed while the chemistry is still wet. The entire process usually is completed within 20 minutes.
The result is an instant, unreproducible, photographic object t. Known for its clarity and rich blacks, wet plate collodion is one of the more seductive processes for contemporary alternative process practitioners.
Here is what Eric writes about his work:
"For the last few years, Eric Antoine has concentrated his work on Ensemble seul. These images on glass, light or dark, fragile are the results of a methodical practice, strongly counter the contemporary “digital flood” that Antoine refutes. However precise the wet collodion process is, within the limits of his control, the photographer can let visual accidents intervene in the image. An organic force is conferred to these photographs, now objects, and there are as many spectral and hazy presences visible as there are detailed features of figures immersed in their bucolic realm.
In this series of photographs, images serve as relics of an undefined period in time. A very personal story, born from a need for some sort of homecoming, is told throughout scenes mixing nature, contemplating individuals and still life.
All the large format images were shot in a circle of 100 square meters; this voluntary constraint is an exercise to get out of the sensational documentary, instant photography. An obvious influence from classical paintings and a need for a more pictorial photography pushed him to express this story of disease and premature death in a subtle allegorical way. As his own demons are exposed in this “therapeutic” work, angelic forms brighten this series and intervene as a symbol of a certain ideal more than a possible hereafter."