Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock
Famille - Marseille

Marseille on Stage.

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Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock

A sunny visit to Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock, at their home, where they open the doors to us, inviting us in to experience their interior and telling us about Marseille, where they grew up and, above all, the city that means the most to them. With its light, its scents, its contradictions and so much more, Marseille is the city at the heart of their work. Olivier Amsellem is a renowned photographer who is defined by his insatiable curiosity, and he has focused his attention on this ancient Phoenician city and the natural world that surrounds it ever since he was a child. From its architecture to its different faces, images, and everyday moments: everything is imbued with an elegant sense of modesty. He is extensively involved in the life of the local community, as well as a number of exciting projects: including Marseille Provence 2013, exhibitions at the Villa Noailles and his book, “Portraits de Ville, Marseille.” (“Marseille: Portraits of the City.”) The scenes that he captures are overflowing with life, just like the city which, paradoxically, allows them to live a simpler life. The pair are engaged in a peaceful, mutual dialogue, where simplicity forms the basis of their life’s philosophy. Odelia is in love with the markets of Marseille and their local produce, and is the driving force behind a number of gastronomic events that she organises. She was utterly carried away by what she discovered on her travels in Japan, and when she returned home, bursting with ideas, she created Maison Umami. The restaurant features a global selection of flavours, delivered over the course of an evening in a range of exceptional locations. Distinctly inspirational.

Salle à manger Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salle à manger Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Pamono Tobia & Afra Scarpa Monk Chairs 3 600,00€
Description

Set of 4 chairs Monk by Tobia and Afra Scarpa edited by Molteni in the 70’s.

Color : brown.
Materials : wood.

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Ebay African wooden statue 750,00€
Description

African wooden statue

Height : 45 cm

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Ebay Accolay Vase 180,00€
Description

Blue ceramic vase from Accolay.

Color : blue.
Dimensions : 28cm x 20cm.

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Salle à manger Céramique Fleurs séchées Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salle à manger Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Bureau Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salon Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salon Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock

Odelia, Olivier, can you tell us about your story so far?

Odelia & Olivier

We both love the Tour de France! We are Aquariuses and we follow the straightforward values conveyed through our upbringing in ordinary, working-class immigrant families with a background that is very common in Marseille. Like epicureans, we live our lives from day to day, taking our pleasures where we find them. To a certain extent, our attitude to live involves reinventing our daily experience.

Odelia, can you tell us about your Maison Umami project? How did it come about?

Odelia


Maison Umami came about because of a desire to share experiences. All based around the philosophy of slow food and slow living. To take time to enjoy things, to explore and rediscover seasonal, tasty food. Whether eaten raw or after an intricate cooking process. We offer hands-on activities for all ages: let’s step away from the screen for a bit and use our hands for what they were made for! However, it’s also about a powerful desire to share what we hold dear – the work of the farmers, artisans, chefs and artists around me or whom I meet on my travels.

Why did you choose the name “Umami”?

Odelia

Umami is the fifth taste, after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami is a Japanese word that describes a delcious, savoury flavour. An explosion in your mouth, a perfect balance. It’s a common feature of Japanese cuisine, but also found in simple produce that we grow here at home, like a ripe tomato with a flavour that is easily overlooked, and also in mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Maison Umami is all about the desire to talk about flavour, in a wider sense, and particularly because of our inherent affinity for everything Japanese.

In an era that is very visually driven, Oliver, what makes a good photo from your perspective?

Olivier

A hood photo? A family photograph.

Portrait Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salon Bougeoir Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salon Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock
Salon Sculpture Olivier Amsellem et Odélia de Cock
Salon Céramique Vases Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock

I didn't want to live my life being dictated to by the world of mass consumption: instead, I wanted to focus on rarity, heritage, ambition and daring to be different.

Escalier Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock
Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock
Salon Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock

Can you tell us about a photographic project that made a particular impression on you?

Olivier

My first exhibition at the Villa Noailles, focusing on modern architecture in the Var region We spent hours driving around the department with Jean Pierre Blanc. What we found was absolutely wonderful.

You both share and work with a particular ethic and philosophy of life that is all about the application of reason: can you tell us more?

Odelia

We strive to apply the same philosophy in our daily lives as we do with Maison Umami. Consuming local, seasonal produce. I visit the farmer’s market every week at dawn, and that gives me a crazy amount of energy. Buying fish from the port on Sundays. Applying heat to flowers and letting them dry to prolong the pleasure. All these simple, meaningful everyday things that help us to take a step back from our society, which is built on excessive consumption, and which, despite everything, we are still members of. With each of us trying to make a meaningful difference.

Olivier

By living in Marseille, doing what we do, we are exercising our choice, first and foremost. And that choice is linked to our location. There is nothing in our lives that is excessive, and no grand plan. We simply chose to live where we do. We therefore live within our means, with what is ours to give and to receive. We’re not going to big ourselves up and pretend that we’re living the LA lifestyle here. We’re much more about inner strength than conspicuous consumption.

Is there a particular artistic movement, an era, or a personality that you draw your inspiration from?

Odelia

Nature, history and objects from history, as well as Japan.

Olivier

Art and architecture inspire me all the time. The modernist movement and brutalism, from Robert Mallet Stevens to Le Corbusier, modern painting by Raymond Reins and furniture by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé. We have a lot in common with Odelia in this respect, because there is so much that takes us back to Japanese culture. Then I am fascinated by the lives of artistic patrons, such as the Noailles or the Sterns.

Couloir Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Salon Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Bureau Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Olivier Amsellem – Bureau 2
Mobilier Design Occasion Mezzoracolo lamp by Gae Aulenti 300,00€
Description

Mezzoracolo table lamp Gae Aulenti edited by Artemide in the 60’s.

Dimensions : 66 cm x 45 cm.

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Salon Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Salon Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Salon Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
My Theresa Bomba Hat Jacquemus 255,00€
Description

Straw hat Jacquemus.

Materials : 100% straw.
Dimensions : 54,5 cm x 31 cm.

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Salon Céramique Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Olivier Amsellem and Odelia de Cock

Who is responsible for decorating your home?

Olivier

I think you can tell that, when Odelia came here for the first time, she felt right at home. That’s what’s important. I didn’t have any background in the subject, and I had to teach myself and learn all about the culture of interior design and decoration, because I didn’t want to live my life being dictated to by the world of mass consumption: instead, I wanted to focus on rarity, heritage, ambition and daring to be different. The kitchen table looks like it is by Jean Royère, but it doesn’t have its signature, so it only cost a hundred euro. i’ve never had the financial means to buy from galleries. I’ve found everything myself at garage sales, flea markets and second-hand shops. Living with objects that have already had a previous life makes me childishly happy, and gives me something to dream about.

Is there any item that you are particularly proud of?

Olivier

A modern canvas that I bought from Emmaüs a dozen or so years ago for seven euros, and which looks like a painting by Nicolas De Staël ! We feel like we are sharing our lives with a major work by a master of modern art.

Where do you like to go looking for finds like that?

Olivier

Wherever I am, wherever I go, if there’s a garage sale or a flea market, you can be sure that I’m going to stop and take a look. I also like to show my loyalty and spend time in the second-hand shops of Marseille. They all have incredible stories, and what they are selling is life itself.

Any ideas or projects for the future?

Odelia & Olivier

To have a child.

Salon Céramique Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Chambre Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Chambre Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Chambre Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock
Chambre Photographies Appartement Marseille Olivier Amsellem et Odelia de Cock

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