Contemporary Narratives - Photography: A Short Guide to History, Theory, and Practice: Online Course Starting April 27th 2022
Sign up to my new series of talks on Contemporary Narratives - Photography: A Short Guide to History, Theory, and Practice . Starts on Ap...
Monday, 25 April 2016
Anne de Gelas and the Recovery of Self
So there are people who aren't written about and one of the pleasures of this site is I can write about them and hopefully more people get to see their work.
One of the least-written about artists is Anne de Gelas. I wrote about her beautiful but tragic L'Amoureuse five years ago. This told the story of Anne's search for herself following the death of her husband on a day out at the beach.
T., my lover and father of my son, died on April 5, 2010 of a brain stroke. He fell beside us on a beach at the North Sea. The violence of his death put me in front of a big void…a silence that echoed in my head only equal to the brightness of the blue sky which no planes crossed because of the ashes of a volcano in anger, my anger.
So the book's about the search for herself - which comes after the loss of self, the loss of multiple selves in fact, and the strategies employed to reconnect, to disconnect, or simply to evade the question.
It really is a most beautiful book and (even though it is in French) I find it hard to fathom that nobody else has written about it in the English language. Perhaps it's time for an English language edition.
Now de Gelas has a new book out. It's called Mère Et Fils (Mother and Son) and it's about how de Gelas's relationship with her son has changed, how her son has changed, the intensity that has become upon him since he became a teenager, since the death of his father.
It's also about de Gelas herself, and the return to femininity and a desire that disappeared with the death of her partner.
So it's a collaborative project, one of shifting identities, one that deals with the most difficult challenges that life can throw at us in a thoughtful and very moving way. Again, it helps if you speak French, but the depth of the work comes through no matter what the language. This is work that confronts life.
See more images here.
See the limited edition artist's book here