The human being is heavy, terribly, that is its drama.
When one is an artist, a poet, a composer of bliss, it is possible to lighten oneself by the grace of style. Alain Laboile is one of them, whose weightlessness is at the same time a research, an ethics and a nostalgia. When daily life is hellish, and asphyxia reaches the lungs, the muscles, the eyes, it is advisable to take height, to let oneself be sucked in to breathe better. There is in his work like a memory of the prenatal ecstasy, of before the caesura of the birth, of the first wailings, and of the deceptive words, as if everything floated in a kind of amniotic liquid having the whole dimensions of the space. Everything in these territories of peace is therefore sphere and spontaneous prayer, verticality and enlargement, ascending fall, flight, dispersion of being in the clouds. Alain Laboile’s characters are wild children who have fulfilled the nature of their desire in a full agreement with the trees, the waters, the skies. The dream is here of a first communion with the life which always flees, which always remains, in rites of appropriation of which the photographer is the great organizer. The models are children who play, jump, or dive. They are deities. The voluptuousness of the images that the inspired artist constructs comes from the freedom of the bodies that he stages, swimming with grace in environments that welcome them completely, embracing forms with which they enter into immediate sympathy. As if the dawn of humanity was in the psyche of each child. As if Ovid’s metamorphoses never cease to reinvent themselves at each new birth. As if innocence was a question of flexibility of the body, threatened by the stiffening of adulthood.
Fabien Ribéry – Preface to “Aurora” published by Bessard, 2018
In his giant open-air studio where he masters space, time and light, Alain Laboile observes his six children like the insects he used to photograph. The care he takes with the backgrounds as well as the superimposition of actions draw a singular photographic writing. Often devoid of a central subject, he seeks to capture everything in a single image. His photography is that of interaction, fragility, overflow. He captures the moments of nothing, the unexpected as well as the predictable, the blossoming as well as the overflowing, the imagination as well as the banality. His poetic travellings bracket the passing of time, the waltz of clouds, the flight of leaves. He works on the humble material of everyday life like organic matter, enchanting it. It is Alice having tea with the rabbit, Philemon going down the well that leads him to another world… No, this is definitely not paradise, nor the dream life of angels. It is just life, simply life and nothing else.
Julie Guiyot-Corteville – Former Chief Curator of the French Museum of Photography.
Sculptor, photographer and father of six, Alain Laboile started a family album in 2007, at the age of 39. The series “The Family” was in the beginning his intimate treasure. This self-taught photographer, who has only one photo of his own childhood, simply wanted to mark the passing of time with his family. The family album quickly crossed the intimate frame to seduce the web. Every day, tens of thousands of Internet users around the world await new images of this French “tribe” living sunlessly, on the edge of the world. In December 2012, the New York Times celebrates the talent of Alain Laboile. The first exhibitions followed, first in Japan and the United States, then in France, when in 2014 the series “The Family” entered the collection of the French Museum of Photography, now taking its place in the long tradition of family photography.
Essentially known for his iconic black and white images, Alain Laboile is also the photographer of color, as shown in the book “Aurora” published by Bessard, 2018 – currently out of print. Today, L’ANGLE Gallery presents the exhibition “Auroras” which brings together for the very first time Alain Laboile’s most beautiful color images.
6, rue des Citronniers 64700 Hendaye
Tel. 06 80 06 28 57
Open from Thursday to Saturday: 11am/13pm – 3pm/19pm and Sunday: 11am/13pm
Or by appointment.
Opening with the artist on Saturday, June 18 at 6:30 pm, with signing of his book “Summer of the fawn”, published by Kehrer Verlag.
6 Rue des Citronniers, 64700 Hendaye, France
June 15, 2022 to July 31, 2022