Cenitz Studio
Capsule N°03

Arthur Guérin-Boëri

Arthur Guérin-Boëri, born August 13, 1984, in Nice, is a French professional freediver and world champion in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Since discovering freediving in 2010, he has set eight world records and won five world titles, making him the most decorated French athlete in the sport's history.

What is the vision (the guiding thread, founding concept, that you pursue through your work?

I would say there have been three phases. At the beginning of my career, I was highly motivated by the sporting goal. Freediving was a kind of therapy for me. A goal I set for myself to escape from my overly burdensome and stressful Parisian situation. I was stuck in a job that didn't suit me. And missing out on my passions was too heavy. Freediving gave me a framework, and for several years, the sole goal was to perform. Then, from competition to competition, from title to title, I began to dream of becoming a professional freediver. Change of objective. Sporting achievement was no longer the only focus; I also wanted to make a living from my sport. This goal proved unattainable, and it took several years of relentless effort for me to realize it. Third objective: transitioning from the dream of being a professional freediver to that of being an entrepreneur. No longer being in anticipation, but creating. Moving from the dream of a sportsman to that of productivity. Incorporating into my daily life something other than my condition as a dolphin man. Liberating myself, first modestly, then ultimately as much as possible, from my athlete's condition. Yes, I realized, along the way, that it was not enough for me. So, back to my first loves: the guiding thread of my current work is to put productivity, poetry, humanity, ideas, and debate back at the heart of my activities, whether they are related to freediving or not. Making room for beauty, in image or music. To reach the audience. Ultimately, the guiding thread of my work is to be in harmony with my life journey. The goal: to be an actor in my existence.

Photography Alex Voyer

Photography Alex Voyer

What cultural or historical roots, or what other disciplines or areas of society, do you believe have most influenced your profession/field?

France and Italy are the mother nations of freediving. Divers began to compete against each other after World War II. These were fishermen, deep-sea divers, combat swimmers. The first competitions saw the famous Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca. Later, cinema played a major role in the development of our sport. Luc Besson directed "The Big Blue," which was a huge success. Initially criticized by critics, the film achieved phenomenal success with the public. Besson didn't just make a successful film; he ignited the passion for freediving in thousands of people. Following the film, clubs emerged, and the competition circuit was established. Today, freediving is no longer simply a sport reserved for an elite group of slightly crazy divers. It has become a "well-being activity," influenced by the current trend of perpetual pursuit of better living. Nowadays, freediving is mainly practiced in pools, everywhere in the major cities of France and in regions. Mr. and Mrs. everyone tries their hand at the discipline. Just as others will practice yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation.

What are the main changes you have observed in your profession/field over time and the challenges that may arise in the coming decades? How do they reflect societal and technological transformations?

Today, freediving is no longer simply a sport reserved for an elite group of slightly mad divers. It has become a "wellness activity", influenced by today's perpetual quest for better living. Apnea is now practiced mainly in swimming pools, all over France's major cities and regions. Mr. and Mrs. Everyone are trying their hand at the discipline. Just as others take up yoga, tai chi or meditation.

Photography Alex Voyer

Photography Alex Voyer

Is there a book, a film, or a work of art that you believe perfectly captures the essence of your profession ?

Luc Besson managed to convey largely what I perceive of this discipline through imagery. Minus the morbid aspect. Besson perfectly captured, in line with Eric Serra's soundtrack, the feeling associated with this sport. And he brilliantly portrayed it on screen.

Let's imagine you could create a capsule that would travel through the universe and time, what would you like to put inside?

A DVD of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner," a Corto Maltese album, "Nevermind" by Nirvana.

Photography Olivier Morin