I recently had the opportunity to visit the Carte Blanche Gallery in San Francisco and meet it’s dynamic owner and director, Gwen Lafage. Opening April 20th, and running through June 20, 2012, the Carte Blanche Gallery will present the exibition, This is Your World.
‘You never lose, this is your world
You never win, this is your world
They pull your strings, this is your world
For the song of the big machine
It’s a big machine, it’s a big machine
For a little girl’
Lyrics from ‘This is your world’ by Emilie Simon
‘This is your world’ is a poetic journey from the innocence of childhood to the mystery of growing up as a woman. Inspired by French songwriter Emilie Simon’s universe, the images of ‘This is your world’ mirror Emilie’s distinctively soft, childlike voice and the dreamlike experience of a little girl and a big machine.
Featuring photographs by four European women, Carte Blanche’s new exhibition creates an ephemeral world. It explores the spirit of dreams through images that refuse to give in to reality. From fairy tales and suspended moments appear memories, desires, motives and uncertainties of four unique and feminine minds. From sweet washed-out colors to aging black and white tones, Saya Chontang, Julie Cerise, Aëla Labbé and Deborah Parkin have distinct photographic styles, but they have in common a unique ability to read women’s minds. Their photos offer an intangible vision of a romantic world. Neither fiction nor reality, they reveal human beauty. They keep the essence of past memories and the hopes of a future where everything is possible alive. This is their world, this is ours.
Based in Northumberland, UK, Deborah Parkin holds a MA in Holocaust Literature. Today a confirmed artistic photographer, she expresses herself using medium format, 4×5 and wet-plate collodion cameras. Working with large format cameras allows her
to slow down and connect deeply with her subjects. Born from a fascination for family and an obsession for the photographic image, her pictures explore the past and the present – childhood stories and memories built by the passing of time and captured on film for eternity.
French photographer Aëla Labbé was born in Brittany, a region where forests can be magic and fairytales are part of the culture. From an early age she devoted herself to dancing, a passion that today shapes her unique photographic creativity. Like in choreography her beautiful photographs dramatize the expression of the body and illustrate the relationship between humanity and nature. The subjects she photographs are part of her private world, her friends and family. Full of elegance and mystery, her unconventional portraits take us back to our childhood and its deepest secret dreams.
In 2004, the then-16-year-old Anais Kugel aka Julie Cerise traveled from France to the United States and found photography taking an increasing place in her life. Creating portraits of herself or acquaintances, she built a visual universe that mixes her dreams with memories of clowns, theaters, and her father’s paintings.
Born in Thailand and raised in France, Saya Chontang studied art including drawing, painting, and engraving from a young age. At just 16 years old, she found her ideal instrument, a Polaroid camera older than she was, with which she photographs artists around Paris, where she lives.