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Arles 2012: Géraldine Lay, Méjan


Between 2005 and 2010, I made regular visits to countries in Northern Europe – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Denmark – and also to Paris and Beauvais. I had the impression of both being in a familiar place and also being plunged into a curiously unordinary world. This series is a mixture of portraits, found objects, and landscapes. I photographed passers-by as if they were actors on stage, places as if they were movie sets. Nothing really connects the towns I went through, I simply constructed an improbable, imaginary narrative between them – a different kind of fiction. The passers-by seem to be acting in an indeterminate play, as if they were each living a fleeting dream. The faces I met disappear beneath the roles that my gaze assigned to them. The street became a theatre. 
Jacques Damez, photographer and founder of the gallery Le Réverbère, in Lyon, wrote the following about a photograph taken in Turku, Finland: “A fascination for associations and encounters that push the real towards the unreal manipulates the material of these ordinary flaws. Thus, a child sitting in front of a red drape in his gilded frame looks straight out at us. The only thing separating us from him is a screen of snowflakes. He has a little wooden boat held firmly in his right hand and dreams of becoming a sailor. And yet he is moored for ever to the picture frame that surrounds him.”

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