MUSICIAN, PHOTOGRAPHER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, STREET BASKETBALL PLAYER, GLOBE TROTTER, RAMI MEKDACHI CULTIVATES AND GATHERS HIS ACTIVITIES WITH A SENSE OF FREEDOM. MOST OF ALL, HE IS AN INTUITIVE COMPOSER: OF MUSIC, SCENTS, MOVIES, ATMOSPHERES…
ANNE DESNOS-BRÉ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AT MARIE CLAIRE MAISON, MET HIM AT THE LOLA JAMES HARPER STUDIO IN PARIS, A UNIQUE PLACE WHERE ALL OF HIS TALENTS GATHER TO CREATE DREAMS.
Anne Desnos-Bré: There is a very enveloping atmosphere in the Lola James Harper studio. Dimmed lights, your perfumes sprayed to the rhythm of the vinyls turned over from side to side, your mantras calligraphed by your care, your images captured throughout the world... One feels enveloped without really knowing where one is.
Rami Mekdachi: It is precisely my intention to keep some room for dreams. In my travel images as well as in my scents, I give the minimum of reference points so that each person can project what he or she feels, what his or her imagination turns towards. Impossible to know where and when my photos were taken: outdated cars, no characters wearing clothes that would allow to date the era. The names of scents suggest atmospheres without specifying them, like the candles « The Red Garden of Tata & Jeddo » or « The First Morning of Spring ». In a world where we have tools that allow us to know everything, to choose everything, to control everything, to evaluate everything, it is essential to immerse ourselves in this dimension where we get lost, made of unknown, of mystery, to finally let ourselves dream. And for that, we need as little information as possible. Dreaming is freedom.
ADB: The Lola James Harper Studio is the place where all your talents, passions, artistic expressions and professional activities converge. It's a studio where everyone can live new experiences, like playing and composing music without ever having touched an instrument in their life, discovering a library of olfactory archives, tasting teas and filter coffees (this detail is important!), watching your films that combine travel, music, basketball, dance - like « WITH », several times awarded in international festivals... All our senses are solicited.
RM: The senses and the sense. It's a place to slow down, to let go. It is a place to do things "together". This is the meaning of life, and this is what I believe in. You never win anything by being "against". Against things, people, events. But we gain everything by being "with". I came up with the "Withdom » concept, a play on words between "with" and "wisdom". A kind of rule of life. It can be found in my mantras, like in the name of my perfumes "Little By Little With Joy" or "Together Is Always Better".
ADB: And travel seems to link all of this...
RM: My travels for the last twenty years have been made of sharing, creation and emotions: with my family, first of all, my wife and children with whom we created the name Lola James Harper, and with those we meet: musicians (singers with incredible voices) with whom we compose, street basketball players with whom we play, dancers... All these road trips and moments of creative sharing constitute the material of my films, which are neither documentaries nor fictions, but moments together. The journey opens towards other cultures, towards the infinite, it brings change, distancing. It allows the quickest realization of the fact that the world is much more beautiful than we think. We put into perspective what we know, we realize that things are much more open than we had expected. The possibilities are more numerous, more vast. Travel is poetry that puts us in action and makes room for dreams.