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Isabelle Françaix


Nasturtium anatomy

This work began at the start of the first confinement, in March 2020. I planted nasturtium seeds outside my apartment windows and watched them grow, open and wither. Every moment, death at work transformed their colors. Under each of the pots, I installed mirrors gnawed and pitted by time. I observed the growth cycle of the flowers, using a macro lens to focus on the one-way membrane separating them from their reflection. My husband had just died of a heart attack. This naturalistic series imposed itself on me as a journey through absence, an encounter with death, which since childhood I have felt intimately linked to the energy of life.

Beyond the mirror, “Anatomy of the Nasturtium” combines this research with moving portraits of my daughter, Marine, in October 2020. I felt a compelling need, as in Kees Van Dongen’s portraits or Emil Nolde’s landscapes, to embody color. I wanted to plunge organically into the heart of a microcosm inhabited by desire, evoking our sensations and dreams.

Each of these photographs observes the border, the embrasure and the passage. They caress the gangue, the envelope, the skin of reality, reminding us of our primitive nudity.

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