La Galerie Rouge brings together in the same exhibition, Claude Batho & Erica Lennard, two photographers who, each in their own way, created a powerful, feminist and introspective work in the 1970s in France. Their eyes, turned towards the sphere of the intimate, reveal the time which passes, that of lives and works in construction. Their photographs, with a strong and distinct identity, now appear eminently contemporary and avant-garde.
Claude Batho and Erica Lennard were recognized early in their careers. In the 1970s, they were exhibited at the Agathe Gaillard gallery: Erica Lennard in 1976 and Claude Batho in 1977. At the same time, the publication of their book by Éditions des femmes established their legitimacy and allowed the distribution of their photographs at a time when women photographers were little recognized, even made invisible in the world of photography. The publishing house founded by Antoinette Fouque, feminist activist and historical figure of the Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF), was created in 1972 to offer works written by women and centered on issues related to the emancipation of women, female creation and reflection.
Claude Batho will publish two books with these Éditions, Le Moment des choses (1977) and Claude Batho, Photographe (1982). Erica Lennard launched her career as a photographer in 1976 with the publication of her book Les Femmes, Les Sœurs.
Claude Batho’s work is located within the family and in intimate setting. Without romanticism, with simplicity and modesty, she photographed her daily life, her two daughters, the objects and places she cherished. She presents her existence as a woman, in particular household chores – wet laundry, ironed sheets – and the interdependence of things and beings like this portrait of the father “blinded” by the light entering through a window. Claude Batho was particularly interested in the magical power that photography has to retain moments, passing time and loved ones. A photographic quality that immediately immerses us – as spectators – in her universe, both familiar and distant, without apprehension, simply guided by the poetry of the everyday in life. Claude Batho said “These photographs are too close, too interior for me to be able to distance myself from them. They are filled with the passage of time, about children, people and things. I wanted to make very simple moments sensitive, to retain their silences…” This relationship to time takes on a special meaning in her photographs since Claude Batho, who suffered from cancer in 1976, accomplished in a few years a considerable work, simple and complex, where she photographed her existence while engaging in a reflection on the very nature of photography.
Claude Batho & Erica Lennard
Opening Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 6 p.m.
Exhibition from June 8 to September 23, 2023
La Galerie Rouge
3 rue du Pont Louis-Philippe,
The opening on Thursday, June 8 will also be the opportunity to preview Claude Batho‘s new monograph, Instants très simples, published by Éditions Contrejour.
Produced with the help of her husband John Batho, this book was produced thanks to the support of the Médiathèque du Patrimoine et de la Photographie, which now houses its archive.
Claude Batho : Instants très simples
45 euros – In bookstores June 8, 2023
Limited edition of 50 copies with print