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Initial Labo : Planches Contact, hors les murs : Carolle Bénitah : The Curve of Happiness


Initial LABO and the Deauville Planches Contact festival present the exhibition “Planches Contact, outside the walls”.
A selection of works produced during the residency of photographers Carolle Bénitah and Stefano De Luigi.
Today we present the work of Carolle Benitah.
From the collections of the Franciscaines-Deauville, the photographer confronts postcards of the city and statistics that make a correlation between the places of residence and the happiness of the people questioned. A poetic intervention, an anchored personal interpretation of the curve of happiness.


The Curve of Happiness

I did not know Deauville before being invited by the Planches contact festival. All the images of this city that I had in mind were conveyed by the press and the cinema.

My surprise was all the greater when I discovered the city in a winter month, cold but sunny.

I discovered the mythical places that make the reputation of the town: the boards, the hotel Le Normandy, the beach, the town hall, the casino, the luxury shops. The city is pretty, clean, adorned with multicolored flowers and opulent houses.

I felt like I was walking in a parallel space, far from the reality of the world, the health crisis and its consequences that have marked our lives for the past two years.

I was seduced by the architecture, by the beautiful residences and their large number. Deauville was built by and for wealthy people and the houses still standing bear witness to this.

My artistic approach consisted of looking into photographic archives, whether personal or anonymous, to question the past and lead to more open, more universal stories: those of the family, memory, loss and mourning, while questioning the photographic medium. I intervene plastically using mediums such as embroidery, writing, drawing or even gold leaf in order to give a different meaning to the images.

I was interested in the archives of the city of Deauville, on the representations of architecture at the beginning of the 20th century, these buildings built to last and to shelter the privileged.

I could not help but think, passing in front of these imposing houses, that these thick walls would protect their inhabitants from the harshness of life, that here everything exudes calm, luxury and voluptuousness.

I had the impression that the laws of economics did not apply to this parallel world and that the latter is insensitive to the fluctuations of the world.

I decided to combine “the curves of happiness” with the photographs of these homes. These curves studied by well-being Observatories have been set up to study the relationship between education, health and well-being, the impact of relationships with peers on well-being, and the relationship with work, growth, age, gender and regions.

The postcards chosen offer scenes of the happiness of the inhabitants and a poetic and colorful intervention reinforces the idea of ​​happiness.

Carolle Bénitah


The exhibition will continue until March 25 at Initial LABO, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Initial LABO
62 Av. Jean Baptiste Clement
92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

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