M.Y.O.P. are the initials from a poem by Paul Eluard: “My eyes patient object / were forever open / on the expanse of the seas / where I got lost”. Since the beginning of the XXIth century Myop has continued, through a thousand vicissitudes, to expand its team which today makes up one of the most prestigious “team” with Ed Alcock, Guillaume Binet, Julien Daniel, Agnès Dherbeys, Marie Dorigny, Julie Hascoët , Pierre Hybre, Olivier Jobard, Alain Keler, France Keyser, Oan Kim, Olivier Laban-Mattei, Stéphane Lagoutte, Jean Larive, Ulrich Lebeuf, Pascal Maitre, Olivier Monge, Julien Pebrel, Jérémy Saint-Peyre, etc.
Guillaume Binet, founder and Stéphane Lagoutte, the current director, confered to give us the following answers.
1 / Are there partners of your agency sick and / or absent (how many compared to the workforce)?
Most of us are often faced with extreme situations in confined countries and have to adapt the way we work. No one at MYOP is really sick, some continue to work with their press card, the agency issues warrants for those who have to / or want to go out and document the pandemic.
2 / What instructions and equipment were given to your photographers in the field? And have they encountered difficulties with the police?
Obviously we have no specific equipment different from that of everyone. So coldly we know how to work in such conditions, and let everyone assess the risks he takes.
3 / Are you afraid that this pandemic will lead you to review your projects or even close your agency? What impact on your turnover?
Today all our projects are stopped, cultural, institutional and reporting. Months of investments grounded. We asked for an extension for the payment of our VAT, taxes as well as our rent. Our slowdown also forces us to put our employee on short-time work. Our cash flow, the lightness of the structure, the involvement of the photographers will allow us to hold out.
Myop has been rebounding for the past 15 years, it will be an additional rebound.
It will simply be an additional rebound if the economy of the cultural sector and of the press resume under acceptable conditions. Otherwise we will enter resistance, take the maquis. And ultimately that’s what we do best.
Our concern is much more general. From such a health and economic crisis we fear that the resulting protectionism will attack culture and press freedom first. Or at best hardly care.
Our professions and our societies will suffer from an economic revival which will pay little attention to art, philosophy or more generally of humanity.
The great alternative artistic movements were born out of a reaction, let us hope that photography as we conceive it will be reborn in a stronger and more relevant form.
More than one health crisis it’s been a world upside down for a long time from which we suffer, cherries time has come, hopefully.
Interviewed by email on March 27, 2020
Official Myop agency website: http://www.myop.fr/