When Cecil Ka presented her work “Arlésienne” to me, I was struck by the presence of her models, the intensity of their gaze, the benevolence of the photographer’s eye. An identical protocol for each diptych, an Arlesian woman, an Arlesian man dressed in Arles costume on the left, the same person in a light gray t-shirt and without makeup on the right, separated by a white margin, like a breath for the admirer. The two images become one and create a new vision. The difference is so amazing that sometimes we think it’s not the same person. From 7 and a half to 73 years old, college student, high school student, hospital worker, former Queen of Arles, pensioner, manager, everyone answered the call.
Cecil is from Arles of Polish origin. The “Arlésienne” series produced in 2020 is the first in a series of three. The Spanish girls dressed in “Flamenca” will be exhibited at the Musée de la Camargue in summer 2021 during the Rencontres d´Arles, before tackling the third series, “Polonaise”, in tribute to her origins.
If I chose to exhibit “Arlésienne” at Easter, it is for all the women and men who want to share today, as soon as the opportunity arises, the beauty of a costume, that of Arles. in all its splendor, the pride of wearing it.
Photographer Cecil Ka has succeeded in a contemporary and anthropological work that challenges us and questions us about the notion of identity, the notion of representation through a traditional costume that crosses the centuries, from the Napoleon III style to the Parisian, the twentieth century city and rural dweller even in the 21st century.
Cecil piqued my interest with her conceptual vision, her gaze that refers to tradition, fashion, without forgetting identity that occupies the news today and forces us to ask ourselves an essential question. Who are we ?
Cecil Ka : Arlésienne
April 3 – June 26, 2021
Anne Clergue Galerie
4 Plan de la Cour
13200 Arles, France