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Estelle Lagarde – De Anima Lapidum, The soul of the Stones


If “De Anima Lapidum” does not constitute a break in the work of Estelle Lagarde – it is almost always architectures that inspire her staged photographs – this series is however very particular.

Whereas the previous images were attached to the human presence, to its traces, in constructions about to be destroyed or rehabilitated, those of “De Anima Lapidum” were conceived and realized for and in immutable places, of which the destination is almost eternal: churches, cathedrals, monasteries are here at the heart of the artist’s questioning. These monuments are both the trigger and receptacle of this research.

One day, while entering a church, Estelle Lagarde had the vision of this man on horseback. It is by sounding this vision that the desire was born to confront these eminently perennial places, witnesses of history with a big H, but also of so many human stories, intimate, singular.

It is these temporal and memorial strata that the artist examines and materializes.

By giving a more or less spectral form to the beings who populated these places, especially at the crucial moments of their lives (Birth, Union, Death), Estelle Lagarde explores the relationship between buildings and memory. Between interiority and materiality.

The light serves as a guide in this quest: from natural essence it symbolizes eternity, the forces of a spiritual universe. Artificial, the light seems to testify to the human passage, the trace of an existence.

This combination of different light sources aggregates the history and stories of these buildings. It expresses all the richness of these architectures and their capacity to collect and add to it the human, painful or happy recollections.

They become both a refuge and an intangible and sensitive inventory of human beings and emotions.

In silence, sheltered, protected by its stones, we can go serenely to meet our own spirituality, in confidence, and perhaps feel the presence of other lives, which permeate these walls for centuries …

Unless Estelle Lagarde is the privileged witness of these presences once these places are abandoned by the living …

Olivier Bourgoin


Estelle Lagarde – De Anima Lapidum, L’Âme des Pierres
May 13 – June 8 2019
Hôtel de Sauroy
Espace photographique
58 rue Charlot
75003 Paris

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