33,280 color slides, 23,076 black and white negatives: it is with this concise list that one of the hundreds of pages of the diary kept by Madeleine de Sinéty could have started. The quality of her relationship with the beings she photographed, the theater of their gestures, the intimacy, the richness and the diversity of the encounters made in Poilley, a small village 60 kilometers north of Rennes, overflow on all sides with the enormous accumulation of ‘images. Born in 1934, the photographer lived in Poilley from 1972 to 1982. She will subsequently make many trips there from the United States, where she had established her residence. She died in 2011, she did not have the time to put to order this archive herself. Only the black and white had been partially revealed in one exhibition at the BNF and one at the Museum of Art in Portland. It is therefore without her, with Peter, her son, that we seized the color images and that we tried, as humbly and faithfully as possible, to highlight her business, which is neither that of a photographer responding to a commission, nor that of an anthropologist – but the business of making a living for an artist sharing the life of a tight-knit community, in a rapidly changing rural microcosm on the edge of modernity.
The Un village exhibition is a co-production with the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône and the Musée de Bretagne in Rennes. The book Madeleine de Sinéty, Un village, receives publishing aid from the Brittany Region and support from the Alliance Française du Maine, Portland, United States.
Madeleine de Sinéty : un village
September 18, 2020 – January 17, 2021
Centre d’art GwinZegal
4 Rue Auguste Pavie
22200 Guingamp, France