We live in total symbiosis, and our work, as a result, flows very organically!
Cesar Love Alexandre aka Young Emperors aka Isabelle Chaput and Nelson Tiberghien is a duo, ‘a team in life’, of visual artists and photographers based in New York. Isabelle and Nelson have met in Gobelins, the school of Art and Photography in Paris and since then live, work, think, create, and even match their style in symbiosis. The recurring theme of the duo’s work is discovering the answer to the eternal question ‘what is love’, while the main influence on their creations is the classic cinematography that has left an undeniable influence on the world and aesthetics.
The duo has worked with L’OFFICIEL, Chanel, C_ _LS, the Forumist, Calvin Klein, Oyster, Human Alphabet, and many others.
Tell about how you met, do you remember what was the course you shared in the University?
We met at Gobelins, a French School of Art and Photography in Paris.
Working in duo as professionals with different worldviews and perspectives how do you manage to create together and share responsibilities on set?
We live in total symbiosis, and our work, as a result, flows very organically! That’s also why we wear matching clothing every day.
How living and creating in the NY is different from living in Paris from a professional perspective and commercial projects you work on?
New-York is a very work oriented city, it is great because you can achieve a lot of projects in a minimum amount of time, it allows you to grow fast. On the downside, you might lose your creative-self. Paris is the total opposite, it is slow, but there is art everywhere.
How does social media today change the creative processes when thinking about a new set and an idea for the shoot? There are so many different genres and stylists on the internet that one needs to not only find his unique vision to stand out but also to be able to always rebuild it.
By essence, creation is the process of doing something new, from there any creative processes should bring new ideas. Social media blurs definition and brings globalization and homogenization in every meaning. If a lot of people do the same nowadays, it’s maybe because the need for the image has become constant. The social media template is one that seeks validation through approval, which results in people trying to create for approval by seeking something that has already been approved, a recipe that works.
If you look at it as a whole, social media is just an evolution, much like digital technology was a revolution in photography. You can embrace it and use it as a tool, and create by using the possibilities but also the boundaries that social media offers you, or you do without.
What are the main differences of your approach to art and the aesthetics that which one of you connects more than the other?
"Since we met — the connection we share is very strong and almost telepathic at times, which results in a very easy creative process where even if we have our own identities, we aspire to the same goals and build on each other’s ideas".
Video art and exhibitions allow to create a different language and present your ideas in a different way through a medium that is viewed and perceived in a different manner. How do you use these channels, is it a complementary work or a new ultimate expression for you?
Video, exhibition, photo, talking, walking, everything can be a way of expression for us. We just want to use the right channel for the right project and for the right meaning.
Some films had impacted your work. Who are your favorite film directors and what do you find intriguing, inspiring or altering reality about their work?
We think every film you watch has an impact on your work/life. For us, cinema is essential and drives us the most. It is like spending 1h30 to 3 hours in a closed place. This is the most difficult question, 'who’s your favorite'! We love so many directors, it is hard to do a list, but probably amongst the favorites would be Wong Kar-wai, Yórgos Lánthimos, Ana Lily Amirpour, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Jacques Demy, Akira Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini.
What is the recurring theme in your works, the question you attempt to find the answer throughout the years of working together?
What is love?
How do you spend your weekends?
Watching Korean Drama.
"If a lot of people do the same nowadays, it’s maybe because the need for the image has become constant".
Do you always match your wardrobe and outfits? When did it start?
Always, it started accidentally when we met, and we decided to continue to show that we are a team in life.
Tell about the shoot for The Webster x Chanel, a series of short videos especially for the Christmas holiday season. How did you choose the location for the set?
The location is an indoor swimming pool in a school in New-York. This time we didn’t decide on the location though, the art director of this shoot did!
What was the most extravagant shoot you ever worked on? What is the most memorable moment from it?
We shot a nude human alphabet with 26 models, it was such an incredible experience, as we shot them in one single day in analog.
What will be your next project?
Conquer the world!