Arnaud Bizalion Editeur presents the book Hélène by Estelle Lagarde.
“We met in 2004, in the metro. I approached you with the desire to photograph you. At first you were my role model, over time we became friends. Photography has this magnificent power to fix time, space, people. But books even more so. Because your life, your face and your beauty were horribly torn from the world on November 13, 2015, this book needs to be.” Estelle Lagarde
Six years after the Bataclan attack, Estelle Lagarde offers a book in memory of her friend and model, Hélène Muyal Leiris. Those who follow the photographer’s work already know Hélène’s face, since a portrait of the model was on the cover of her previous book L’auberge. In this new book, in memoriam, Estelle Lagarde recounts in text and photos their meeting from the moment she approached this stranger one day in the metro, fascinated by her personality, then their collaboration until this last photograph when she had become her friend. Hélène is the book of this testimony.
There are the words. Those that Estelle Lagarde wrote for Hélène. Simple, direct, human. They recount the birth of a friendship, built in the game and the complicity of an artistic creation, in this case photography. The movements of the soul and the heart between an artist and her model who became over the years one of the recurring figures in the photographer’s projects.
There are the pictures. The ones Estelle made of Hélène. Staged, thoughtful and intended to feed a series, a project for an exhibition or a book. And then there are Hélène’s big eyes, which seem to magnetize Estelle. Moments of pause, captured on the fly. This mixture of seriousness, challenge and complicity. As if these two women tamed each other, and gradually recognized each other.
It emanates from these images and these words a state of almost twinship or sisterhood between the two women. As if this first meeting in the subway had been written in advance, as if their respective paths were made to meet.
We read, we see, before our eyes, a friendship being born and being built. Thrive. Calmly. Deep.
And this explosion that we do not identify immediately. Barbarism.
November 13, 2015.
Hélène died under the bullets of the terrorists. Stunning. Word unfortunately become almost a cliché.
Little Melvin will never see his mom again.
A few weeks earlier, Hélène was on the cover of the book L’auberge by Estelle Lagarde. She plunges her eyes into ours and stares at us, determined and free.
A few weeks later, Antoine Leiris, her companion and the father of Melvin, wrote You will not have my hatred.
Estelle Lagarde : Helene
A book published by Arnaud Bizalion Publisher
Photographs and text by Estelle Lagarde Preface by Brigitte Patient
14.8 x 21cm
88 color pages – 26 color and black and white photographs Hardcover, fabric, hot stamping