She, Lise Sarfati

Sloane #68, 2009, © Lise Sarfati / Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery

Exhibition on view:
February 3–March 17, 2012

Brancolini Grimaldi
43-44 Albemarle Street
London
W1S 4JJ
+44 (0)207 493 5721

Two pairs of American sisters are featured in the film-still like photographs of the series She by Magnum photographer Lise Sarfati. The women photographed become interchangeable as Sarfati investigates the sense of identity that a woman attempts to possess. Instead, the uniqueness of the characters becomes beautifully ambiguous. French-born Sarfati, living part-time in the U.S., photographed the inner lives of these young women, changing their environments every so often, moving them to various cities including Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Sarfati prefers to shoot in small towns where life is slower and she has the chance to obtain intimate knowledge of her subjects.

Made between 2005 and 2009 the semi-choreographed photographs were influenced by film and theoretical thinkers. Sarfati’s interest in doubles and reflections adds an extra layer to the banality offered by the American backdrops; ordinary living rooms, shops and streets. Using Kodachrome slide film, synonymous with family snapshots of the 1960s and 70s, her quiet compositions bathed with rich color heighten the intensity of the women she photographs.

Sarfati talks about her subject’s environments, the perception of color in her work and her intention behind She in a recent interview with Elizabeth Avedon. A retrospective of this work and more of Sarfati’s photographs will be featured in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 2014.

Sarfati has appeared in Aperture issues 194, 180, 146, and 142.