Tanguy Sergheraert


Words by Kim Costantino




The word fork may make you think about different things. Firstly, a small object that you use to pick up food and eat with. If you are into gardening you will probably visualize a tool with a long wooden handle and three or four points. Alternatively you could think of place where a road divides into two parts. Finally, if you are a chess passionate like me, you will immediately recall one of the basic tactics. In chess a fork occurs when one piece attacks two of the opponent’s pieces at the same time.


The title of Tanguy Sergheraert’s new book refers to the two latest definitions. A fork is intended here as the moment when the photographer makes his choice. Left or right, this picture or that picture, vertical or horizontal, and so on. A sequence of decisions that Tanguy takes relying purely on his instinct, tracing a personal path punctuated by photographs.


“Instinct is this reaction anchored in the human body: this reaction which makes it so the body knows before thought” he says talking about the approach behind the images in Fork. Considering street photography, relying on knowledge and reflection would be counterproductive. Only an innate behavior — an automatic response to a stimuli — can be fast enough to capture the present moment. In the book abstract we learn more about his approach when we read that “…with this instinct as a compass urging him to capture a moment of life as it passes. Travelling along the coasts of Senegal, from Saint-Louis to Casamance and passing through the frenetic city of Dakar, Fork narrates these fragments of life scattered along the Atlantic coast, with the sea as a guide.”

One may now wonder, where does chess come about? The first, more visible, connection to the game is a photo taken in a market in Senegal, which was graphically reinterpreted in the beautifully designed book cover. In fact, the visual theme of chess squares is recurring within the project, showcasing how Tanguy instinct and sensitivity have been working together all along the way.


A second, more subtle connection, refers us back to the idea of knowledge before thought. An attitude that needs an utter trust in one-self instinct, and which evidently Tanguy isn’t lacking. This skill is fundamental in speed chess, very fast games where there is no time for deep calculation. And in fact, browsing through Fork is like assisting to a chess match between the photographer and the landscape. A fast exchange of moves, a playful confrontation of visions, colors and patterns. Like chess, it’s a dialogue, where the ultimate goal might not be winning, but rather creating something beautiful together. Fork is a continuous back-and-forth between the artist and its environment, leading the viewer right there, in the moment before thought.

Tanguy Sergheraert

Tanguy Sergheraert was born and grew up in Brittany, on a land rocked by wind and tides. His photographic work is instinctive, his eye always on the lookout for a sensitive world of warm light, colour and movement, which he immortalises on film.


Today he lives in Paris, a pivotal place where he continues to explore new landscapes. Between the city and nature, he creates vibrant, colourful images through which he invites the viewer to join him on his daily peregrinations.