Plan américain

Scarlett Coten

2017 - 2019

United States

The will to be oneself, sowing trouble in gender by affirming one's differences in a deeply binary and patriarchal society, is a political act. For men today, to be vulnerable and speak their truth, is an act of rebellion. My work exists to fuel this rebellion.

"Plan américain", which explores how masculinity is experienced and expressed by the younger generation in the U.S. today, seeks to influence our imagination and our understanding of a notion that eludes simple definition through endless variations.

In a country with an increasingly precarious political climate, where the rise of a masculinist nationalism is encouraged by a leader promoting the image of a hard and retro virility, I wanted to make visible the presence of a new, de-complexed masculinity, both in cities and small towns.

In early spring 2017, I embark on this adventure, a road trip that will last three years. Trump has been in the White House for three months, America is in crisis and #MeToo hasn't broken out yet. It's under this "administration of discrimination" that I pursue my exploration in search of faces I want to photograph. Men, who at each stop offer the fluid and plural nature of what it means to be a man today.

I always photograph subjects who are involved in this project, choosing specific locations, selected to foster a liberating experience. By focusing on non-conformity and the vulnerabilities of a sex constrained by rigid, oppressive, and outdated gender ideals, my approach which is empathetic, strives to break the myths, with the aim of revealing a broader and more inclusive concept of modern masculinity.

The aesthetics of the road trip is nevertheless present. The natural decors can be watched in every image as a portion of the American landscape. These fragments of landscape or settings - crossings of a fantasy and a reality that comes to collide with it - testify in their interlacing, of the experience of the road trip, to finally offer a representation of Trump's (dis)United-States.

This work, addressing themes of patriarchy, power, sexuality, identity, race, and the female perception of men, considers the necessity for alternative viewpoints in order to reimagining gender identity for today's world, and the reversal of the gaze performed in this artistic experience is accompanied by the desire to subvert an art history itself not much inclusive.

About the title:

The "Plan Américain", as French directors call it, refers to a specific way of framing movies, developed for westerns. It allows viewers to see a character from head to mid-thighs and comes from the necessity to include the character’s gun usually located below the belt, in the shot. Particularly praised by French movie makers, it brings us closer to the subject, whilst showing his or her background. A confrontational perspective, it allows for a greater proximity between the viewer and the character.

The word "plan", part of the French expression: "avoir un plan", means: to have a date, a "rendez-vous".

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  • Colton, Austin TX 2019

  • Kennie, Atlanta, Georgia 2018 (1)

  • Lazarro, Gallup AR 2019

  • Robbie, Atlanta, Georgia 2018

  • Jesse, Chicago, Il 2019

  • Bryan, Palm Springs, California 2017

  • Joseph, Fresno, California 2017

  • Los Angeles 2017

  • Salvatore, New Orleans, Louisiana 2018

  • Charles, Clarksdale, Mississippi 2018

  • Sami, Flagstaff AR 2019

  • Greenwood, Mississippi 2018

  • Alex, Portland, Oregon 2017

  • Brandon, South LA, California 2017 (1)

  • Marcus, Taos NM 2019

  • Koran, Oakland, California 2017

  • Seattle WA 2017

  • Chris, Las Cruces NM 2019

  • Gary, Joshua Tree, California 2017

  • Robert, Natchez, Louisiana 2018

  • Jack, New York, NY 2017

  • Jeremy, New Orleans, Louisiana 2018

  • Tory, Los Angeles, California 2017

  • Voo, Seattle WA 2017

  • Slab City CA 2019

  • Alexandre, Seattle, Washington 2017

  • Stephen, New Orleans, Louisiana 2018

  • Coleman, Georges Town, Oregon 2017

  • Sean, Flagstaff NM 2019

  • Andrew, Los Angeles, CA 2017

  • Clarksdale MS 2018

  • Robbie, Atlanta, Georgia 2018

  • Jacob, Detroit, Il 2019

  • Jesse, Chicago, Il 2019

  • Detroit 2019

  • Carlos, Los Angeles, California 2017

  • Lucas, Santa Fe NM 2019

  • Tanner, Nashville, Tenessee 2018

  • Coronado Ranch, Arizona 2019

  • Marcus, Seattle, Washington 2017

  • Cedric, Atlanta, Georgia 2018

  • US90 Texas 2019

  • Jeremy, New Orleans, Louisiana 2018

  • Alex, Athens, Georgia 2018

  • New Orleans LA 2018

  • Elijah, Marfa TX 2019