After Ordinary Faults (2012), which had revealed to the public the sharpness of Géraldine Lay’s vision and the originality of her signature, the photographer continued her sensitive urban explorations and her questioning of urban humanity in Britain. . Faithful to her method, imbued with meticulousness and precision – although not ceasing to be attentive to the hypothesis of the sudden onset of surprise or chance – Géraldine Lay mentally apprehends her territories before photographing them. She feels the light, the atmosphere …, impregnation, more than identification, which instills a privacy at the very heart of anonymity.
Some critics have rightly pointed out the cinematographic dimension of the artist’s work; but such a reading undermines the profound and “essentially” photographic character of a demanding work that reminds us, by each of its “photograms”, that the discovery of photography preceded that of the cinema by fixing in particular a previously unseizable movement . And that in doing so, she has updated an aesthetic peculiar to this medium alone. It is this particular aesthetic that irrigates all of Géraldine Lay’s photography.
Throughout the streets, squares, suburban corners, lives are captured in the mystery of their daily existence … As noted by the Irish writer Robert McLiam Wilson: “People walk and wait. They talk, drink coffee. They cross streets. They work. They’re moving. They are citizens engaged in civic things. Like all citizens, everywhere they are multiple, varied, diverse. Men, women, children. They are also British. Incredibly British. They could not be from elsewhere “.
At the time of an exponentially and irrevocably standardized universality, Géraldine Lay’s photographs reaffirm both the permanence of singular individualities and the resistance of collective identities.
Géraldine Lay – North End
Text by Robert McLiam Wilson
Éditions Actes Sud
24 x 31.7 cm / 96 pages / 60 photographs quadri / bound book / 32 €
Through August 31st
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