- Pictures : Colette Pourroy
- Text : Éloïse Conésa
- 64 pages
- 17,5 x 19,5 cm
- 32 duotone pictures
- French / english
- ISBN : 979-10-92265-67-5
“Eve, the first woman, the firstborn, the older sister, and the beloved sister…. There is something in this photographic series by Colette Pourroy that resembles a declaration of sisterly love, expressed along with the desire to revisit places of intimacy and the urgency of preventing memories from vanishing, devastating though they may be. These images seem haunted by the train of memory that inexorably pursues its course from childhood to adulthood.
Dormant yet resistant, they recount a story that until now remained on the threshold of words and whose photographic transposition constitutes a palliative remedy to the pain of enunciation. The vaporous haze, the contrast between the milky whiteness and deep black, so characteristic of these works, confer a hallucinatory quality upon the series. Instead of sharpness, the photographer favors the blurriness of deliberately underestimated exposure, an imprecise focal distance, and brutally violent and crushing light as a means for expressing that which is unsaid…
Virginia Woolf’s writing and her description of emotions, emotions that often dissipate when someone dies, come to mind. “To feel anything strongly was to create an abyss between oneself and others who feel strongly perhaps but differently,” writes the British novelist in The Voyage Out. The subtle sharing and transmission of powerful emotion is the wonderful strength of Colette Pourroy’s work, since photography perhaps possesses a cathartic function for her, permitting her to stage episodes of her personal story and exorcise demons. Through the camera’s lens, buried memories are replayed and reactivated, her transposed feelings acting in a theater of emotions rather than being portrayed in the abrupt delivery of a series of moments.
And so if this work is “photobiographical”, to employ the term invented by Gilles Mora in the 1980s, it is in the transformative process of those feelings into photographic emotion that arises not from an event we perceive, but instead, from the images that reveal themselves, through their breathless rhythm, and through the trance that animates them into a tale. In this manner do the titles, which might appear redundant given how well the pictures speak for themselves, become stage directions for the viewer who is enjoined to hunt amid the folds of the bedsheets, that place of both pleasure and death, for the skeleton of a broken life”.