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A haute voix

Alexandra Catière

GwinZegal

Publication date : 2022/12/01
Weight 290 g / Dimensions 24 x 33 cm / 48 pages
ISBN 9791094060384

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With closed eyes, she looks at us. We listen to her.
The silence of Alexandra’s images.
What words does she want to whisper to us, are they made of the same wind that sweeps through the landscape? The same oxygen exhaled by the plants?
Eyelids open or closed, these faces that we contemplate look at us as much as we look at them. Alexandra Catière has come across them at village festivals, in improvised studios in Brittany, far from the faces of Griffith’s actors or the expressionist close-ups of Eisenstein’s avant-garde silent films. The wrinkles, the folds, the roughness, the shine of our eyes are all details that simultaneously constitute the interface of our social relations and the strata of our identity. Beauty and melancholy rub shoulders. Humble and dignified faces follow one another in a silence that only the crash of a laugh could break.

To say that the photographs contain a promise of timelessness is to say something that is exhausted of meaning, and yet these faces, these landscapes, these few still lifes by Alexandra Catière seem definitively impervious to the subterfuges of modernity and its empire won over the world. The damaged clock of progress gives way to a carnal and intimate clock with a capricious rhythm, matter and memory.

Alexandra’s facial features come alive between mystery and laughter, in the ambiguity of an anachronistic, asynchronous life and identity, marked by her childhood in Minsk, her flight to New York, and daily life in Paris. The scenes she photographs, the compositions and the simplest objects take on the trappings of the sacred and seem to obey the grammar of a mysterious liturgy. A simple chair or flower petals in a light rain want to tell us something other than what they are. The gaze suddenly becomes meditative. As if Alexandra wanted to encourage us to listen to the fragile poetics of the world, to the sound of water, to the laughter that rolls towards the sea—and to cultivate a new and salutary energy in our tormented relationship with life, with ourselves and with others.

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