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La 21ème Saison : Dorothée Lebrun : Quand même / Anyway / Trotzdem


With Quand même / Anyway / Trotzdem, published by La 21ème Saison, German photographer Dorothée Lebrun documents this special moment that was the first confinement. But, moving away from other more conventional proposals, she chose to portrait her neighbors in the Saint-Cyprien district of Toulouse.
Quand même / Anyway / Trotzdem therefore offers forty-two portraits, forty-two souvenir scenes from these 55 days outside of time.

There are two of them posing in front of a white sheet: he is wearing clothes covered in paint and holding a paint roller, she with a rag and spray in her hands seems ready to clean the traces he might leave.
She is alone in front of the same white background holding a radio, or there is another person with a guitar, a couple with children and each their own occupation. And so on… Forty-two times the same device and still forty-two different existences.

Because that’s what it’s about: while France is covered in this sort of strange blanket that is confinement, while our movements are limited to a radius of 1 km, we must allow ourselves to go shopping, we all had to continue living anyway. And at the same time reinvent everyday life in our own way. Of course it was not so easy, the benchmarks are missing, the connection is missing, the work, the sociability are missing; television sets out its morbid litany, fear feels heavy with this invisible virus. But, little by little we get organized, we weed a flower bed that really needs it, we start cooking again, we rediscover reading, music, joy, our loved ones.

Dorothée Lebrun seizes this abundance of existences to photograph them, pursuing after confinement. A nod to photographer Stephan Moses, this series of portraits could also be reminiscent of the work of August Sanders. Indeed, in a few dozen, twenty, years we will surely have forgotten a large part of these confined days, of the how we occupied them. The photographs, the book itself, will then serve as a memory of this era, of this history, just as the photographs taken by Sanders bore witness to the German society of his time.

We have experienced confinement, but it is possible, and this is the best we can hope, that this temporal hazard will never return. But what could be more important than keeping track of it? And above all, what could be more important than keeping the memory of what we did at that time?

But Dorothée Lebrun also offers us here a curious work, a work where tenderness and fraternity shine through which are sometimes lacking in our human societies. We too often forget those around us, abandoning them to continue rushing through our time-consuming lives. However, there is a humanity that we encounter, friends, loved ones, so many lives that we should not forget. The confinement could perhaps have served, if not as a trigger (this famous world according to what we were promised and which never came), at least awareness.
Unfortunately this was not really the case.

A work like Quand même / Anyway / Trotzdem therefore offers a second chance to look at what surrounds us, to return to this fraternity which should be the basis of our existence.
Dorothée Lebrun creates a work of memory as well as humanity with this very beautiful book, may we be inspired by it…

Text by Frédéric Martin

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Dorothée Lebrun : Quand même / Anyway / Trotzdem
La 21ème Saison
Pagination: 104 pages
Format: 21 x 27 cm
ISBN: 978-2-9581156-0-9

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