Could you please introduce yourself?
Étienne: We both grew up in Avignon in the south of France. Luckily, this is a city with a rich cultural background that allowed us to have access to things that stimulate us.
Matteo: Yes and indirectly there has always been a link with Paris, both for the Avignon Festival and the Lambert Collection*.
Coming from a provincial town, did you feel a cultural gap when arriving in Paris?
Matteo: To be able to evolve artistically, Paris is the ideal city and you obviously feel a cultural gap, everything is definitely more accessible here.
Étienne: When I look back at it, it is true that you can develop a tiny complex when you arrived there. In Paris, you have access to a richer, faster and global culture. On the other hand, your curiosity grew and as a teenager, you are looking for things that stimulate your mind & creativity. It is a strength that made us stand out.
Did you come to Paris at the same time?
Matteo: More or less at the same period, yes but we lost each other sight for several years. I came to Paris to pursue my studies in filmmaking. After graduating I worked at Iconoclast and did freelance editing. In parallel, I met Thibault Choay who offered me a position at CLASSIC. Today I take care of the bookstore that we opened and I also shoot photos and videos.
Étienne: I arrived in Paris around 2006, I started my studies in an Art market school then I joined a Marketing one. After that, I worked for Edwin Europe's team as a designer for the brand in Germany. The experience lasted 3 years. I came back to settle in Paris and worked on personal projects.
How did the idea of creating 1991 books come?
Matteo: Almost a week after starting to work at CLASSIC (we did not have the bookstore yet), I was making an order and the bill was in the name of Étienne, who was working at Edwin's.
Étienne: I received his message, we made contact and basically started to hang out together again. Shortly after I went on holiday to Greece and documented my trip mainly by taking pictures of graffiti found in Athens.
Matteo: I had this name in mind for a long time and it seemed logical to use it for our project (we were both born that same year). We started the project with Étienne's zine and I also had a series of photos that I wanted to publish for a long time. For other publications, we are trying to collaborate with our close friends.