Filtering by Tag: Lise Sarfati

Lise Sarfati Book Signing

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Lise Sarfati: She to Launch at ARTBOOK @ Paper Chase

ARTBOOK @ Paper ChaseRose Gallery and Twin Palms Publishers invite you to the launch party for Lise Sarfati’s new monograph, She.

Wednesday July 25, 2012 7:00 pm RSVP@dapinc.com

Gina #01, Emeryville, CA From the series She, 2007

Please join us for presentation of Sarfati's new body of work, followed by a conversation with curator Joshua Machat and a book signing.

ARTBOOK @ Paper Chase 7174 Sunset Boulevard (corner of Sunset and Formosa) Hollywood, California (323) 969-8985

This event is FREE and open to the public, but RSVP is required, and will be accepted until venue capacity is reached.

Lise Sarfati: She — New Monograph from Twin Palms Publishers

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Essay by Quentin Bajac,Chief Curator of Photography, MoMA

A family album preserves only carefully selected photographs. Out of an entire life, it stores only handpicked moments, privileging special occasions, happy ones usually, and consigning the rest to oblivion: happy faces, relaxed moments, places of leisure rather than work. It tends to underline a group's social links and affective relations, to highlight an identity, a communal spirit, a shared life and destiny. The portrait of the couple or group, with all its attendant conventions, is one of its inescapable figures. The family album tries to register the evolution of a particular human community, to write its story and scan the passage of time with each succeeding page. None of this figures in She: instead of a chronology, time is stopped, it appears to stammer and bite its own tail. There is no group photo or desire to stage a collective destiny, but only isolated models and individuals who do not seem to communicate amongst themselves, or only barely; no happy moments or picturesque places, only indifferent moments in ordinary places; no strong gesture, none of the conventional poses, and no complicity with the photographer. The models pose, but reservedly, more often than not without looking into the camera. And even when we do see their faces, we don't really seem to see them. They are here, but they are always there, elsewhere. When we close the book and think a bit about it, we cannot but see She as the anti-family album par excellence.

Text courtesy of Twin Palms Publishing.

Lise Sarfati: New York Times

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Exposures

On Hollywood

By LISE SARFATI

Published: March 24, 2012

I began with the concept of psychogeographical dérive, an approach analyzed by the French writer Guy Debord.

He defined psychogeography as the study of the precise effects of geographical surroundings on the emotions and behavior of individuals.

This dérive is the process I used to experience brief stays in a variety of atmospheres. In Los Angeles I drifted through Hollywood, staying several months. I did not scout locations like a director of photography or an artist hungry for new surroundings. I strove to find places where I would feel good physically, places that would affect me emotionally.

These places were street corners, sidewalk strips, recesses. Nothing extraordinary; on the contrary, very often quite banal.

My series “On Hollywood” shows women who really live in Los Angeles. They probably came to project themselves in the Hollywood landscape and to take advantage of the possibilities of success in this landscape. Hollywood interested me more for the concept of landscape as fantasy.

They are very real, and in different ways they seem to be the targets of a strange fatality. They shine in a very peculiar way. Like Pier Paolo Pasolini’s fireflies.

Lise Sarfati is a French-born photographer who lives in the United States. Her upcoming exhibitions “On Hollywood” and “She” will be at the Rose Gallery in Los Angeles.

To see a slideshow of more images from SHE series please visit the New York Times website

Lise Sarfati: Exit Magazine

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LISE SARFATI SHE

Text by Lise Sarfati

Lise Sarfati. Christine #10 Hollywood, CA, She Series, 2006.

Documentary photography, or the new document, is that which not only lays bare the record of the real world, but also creates a unique photographic narrative where photography, its theme and the viewer all coexist. My work touches on reality but a human reality.  I often find myself in a banal situation, but my aim is to surpass it, to transcend it, in order to discover the core of an existence that can be explained by the solitude of the character in her domestic intimacy, even in the hermetic space of a street or any other desert:  the woman is ever alone in a crowd. She consists of moments of a brilliant history where the combined fragments ultimately form no more than a rather homogenous tale.  It is a matter of compositional logic and also a wild ballad in the life of these four women. My interest in working on this theme arises from the fact that I come from a family of four sisters, and mainly to the constant bitterness caused by the dissolution of family ties between mother, sister, and aunt.  I have wanted to explore the feelings of melancholy transmitted from the mother and the aunt to Christine’s two daughters: Sloane and Sasha. The latter systematically refuses to be photographed since the idea of reuniting her mother, aunt and sister in the same series seems to her absurd.  There is also the play of identities between two generations that is preserved as an animal instinct. A series of photographs made over an extended time-period in California, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix between 2005 and 2009. Moments borrowed from four women: Christine, the mother; her sister Gina; Sloane, Christine’s daughter, and Sasha, Sloane’s sister. Christine’s instability, Sasha’s melancholy, Sloane’s repeated transformations, Gina’s feminine-masculine ambiguity… She describes a complex aesthetic experience fraught with history, feelings, and ghosts. The direction of the project, framed in an extended time-period, allows following its erratic development.  It leaves lots of room for the autonomous construction of narrative fictions for the viewer, scenarios that are merely suggested by the images: a play of identities between Sloane and her mother- and vice versa- between Gina and her sister- or conversely- between Sasha and her mother…women who share a singular intimacy before the imminence of disaster, the discovery or premonition of it. Compressing time and mixing years, these images chosen in isolation of these four women comprise a single story. These women had no need to be photographed and it is their refusal, their resistance, which attracts us to them.  Because of She, I’ve discovered the interior of a Victorian home in the Oakland ghetto, but also the urban environment of small Californian cities.

Translated by Dena Ellen Cowan

Lise Sarfati. Christine #11 San Francisco, CA, She Series, 2005.

Lise Sarfati. Gina #8 Oakland,, CA, She Series, 2005.

Lise Sarfati. Sloane #66 San Francisco, CA, She Series, 2009.

All images courtesy of the artist, Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, London, and ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles.

Lise Sarfati in La Lettre

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Emily, 2860 Sunset Blvd, 2010 © Lise Sarfati, Courtesy Lise Sarfati, ROSEGALLERY, los angeles

Rosegallery, Los Angeles is presenting back to back exhibitions of On Hollywood and She, confirming Lise Sarfati's talent and status among the small circle of French artists who have succesfully exported their work.

Lise Sarfati arrives in New York in 2003. She leaves for New Orleans to start her series The New Life (Twin Palms, Publisher 2005). She travels through several small towns in Texas, Arizona, California and Oregon. She returns to Los Angeles in 2009 and 2010 to photograph the women she crossed paths with on Hollywood's boulevards.

While She is an intimate and complex game of mirrors between four women, two times two sisters, On Hollywood focuses on the landscape. The two series follow one another but are not alike. They are part of a puzzle Lise Sarfati is patiently, endlessly creating. The female characters share certain traits : they are both fragile and strong, they live on the fringe of society, they project themselves in a reality only they seem to have the key to. For On Hollywood the encounters took place using a precise approach. The women in this series are vulnerable but they are women who are struggling for their survival : dancers, junkies, actresses looking for a part, out-of-towners. Sarfati chose these women for their personalities, their auras, their marginal lifestyles. "They are real and it is their emotional dimension which attracted me to them." One has the feeling that these women float through life like ghosts. There is never a direct gaze into the lens. "The viewer is the only one watching and letting his or her eye wander on the surface of the image. This gives the image its own autonomy. The women are as essential as the landscape." She chooses her locations without a camera, only using her eye, returning numerous times to the same place because she feels comfortable there.

The simplicity of the boulevard amazes her.

For this series, Lise Sarfati used Kodachrome 64 film stock which was used in Hollywood movies of the 1940s. It is the last photographic series made with this stock which ceased being produced in June 2009. The last rolls were processed in December 2010.

This series refers as much to the films of David Lynch and Wim Wenders as to the photographs of William Eggleston (for the color) or Harry Callahan (especially his series of street portraits called : Women Lost in Thought). But Lise Sarfati has completely assimilated these influences. Her strong visual signature, linked to a feeling of interiority, is both modern and identifiable as her own. And the beauty and accuracy of her work make us follow her willingly.

In France, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) is preparing a retrospective of her work for 2014. A book on the series She is due in the spring or summer of 2012 (Twin Palms Publisher).

Christophe Lunn

On Hollywood : from February 25th to March 26th She : from March 31st to May 8th

View the full article here

Lise Sarfati in Time Lightbox

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Ajibike, La Baig Avenue, 2010. From the series On Hollywood.

Since 2003, Lise Sarfati has been traveling across the United States, particularly on the west coast, photographing adolescents and women against the vernacular of the American landscape. The exhibitions On Hollywood and She, opening Feb. 25 and March 31, respectively, at Rose Gallery in Los Angeles, juxtapose subjects against an allegorical landscape that shifts between the real and the fictional. On Hollywood focuses on Los Angeles, while She explores Oakland, but both touch on the notion of fluidity within feminine identity. “I wanted to represent a woman who is both vulnerable and strong, oscillating between promise and despair,” Sarfarti said of her inspirations. “I wanted to give these women a voice, or rather, an image.”

Created from 2009 to 2010, On Hollywood features young women against the backdrop of Hollywood—a fabled place that during its golden era represented the hopes and dreams of aspiring stars. The girls are often pictured in classic Hollywood spaces, dressed casually, but they appear as if caught in an off moment.  Sarfati is very precise about who she photographs. The girls juggle multiple jobs—most are dancers. “They are always in motion, and have a particularly difficult life where dependencies on men and drugs merge,” Sarfati says. “[They are] women at the mercy of a strange fate.”  The landscape of Hollywood is barren. The women appear lost, unaware of the viewer’s gaze and immersed in their own illusions of the Hollywood myth.

Sarfarti’s earlier series, She, created between 2005 and 2009, is an exploration of two sets of sisters: Christine and Gina, as well as Christine’s daughters, Sasha and Sloane. The series documents their relationships during a period of transition. At the time, Sasha and Sloane had moved from the conservatism of their grandparents’ home to an alternative lifestyle in their mother’s Oakland loft. In an period of re-invention and under the careful gaze of Sarfati’s lens, the girls try to find their identities—Sloane often changes her appearance and seems to enjoy being photographed whereas Sasha, when pictured, is pensive and almost melancholic. “The sisters are isolated, they are alone,” Sarfati says, “It’s the fusion of these four solitudes that creates the series and the story.”

The two older sisters, Christine and Gina, are also also searching. “The mother, Christine, as she appears in my photographs, is threatening, terrifying, but also mysterious and fascinating. She is no longer protective. She is strong. She is independent,” Sarfati says. The older pair of sisters change their hair styles and jobs. Christine is pictured gazing absently in a wedding dress—all four women are constantly in flux. “The women in She reflect one another until you can no longer tell them apart. The only gaze possible is the gaze of the images between themselves,” Sarfati said. “I don’t particularly like mises en scènes. I prefer the search for truth.”

Lise Sarfati is a French artist living and working in the United States. Her two new exhibitions On Hollywood and She open on Feb. 25 and March 31, respectively, at the Rose Gallery in Los Angeles.

Read more: http://lightbox.time.com/2012/02/27/lise-sarfati-new-work/#ixzz1niOfhboS

Lise Sarfati Interview

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Lise Sarfati On Hollywood.

Interview by François Adragna.

Malaïka #09, Corner 7th Street & Spring, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

What is a photographic series?

It is a set of photographs which are linked to each other and which create a whole. Something which shuts us in and in which we cannot find the exit. It is also a way of thinking. A form.

Is On Hollywood a series?

On Hollywood is a series. But each photograph can be looked at individually. It is a series because the images interrelate and reinforce the photographic form.

When did you start this series?

I started it in 2009 and finished it in 2010.

The colors and texture of your photographs have a particular quality. What film did you use?

I worked with Kodachrome 64 transparency film. The rolls were sent to Kansas in the only laboratory which still developed this film. I never saw the results immediately. I realized that this element of not seeing, not knowing, was a determining factor. This situation : where I had to wait and did not know brought me back to the mystery I felt when I discovered photography at the age of 13. A revelation, but after the fact. This Kodachrome film stock is also the one used in Hollywood movies of the 1940s. I wanted to complete the loop and end the story of Kodachrome film on Hollywood. I used this outmoded film stock in the context of Hollywood, which is at the peak of technological advancement and colossal production costs.

I was not part of a huge Hollywood production but on a boulevard where I photographed real women (without paying them, this I insist on in my work) who are considered outsiders.

Their weaknesses became their strength ,raising them to the rank of anti-heroes. It is true that film, photography and video have surpassed painting and sculpture and that it may seem odd to return to Kodachrome slides when analog film, photography and video have been overtaken by the digital format. But it is precisely this paradox which interested me.

One often wrongfully compares photographs to paintings. This is nonsense. The image does not refer to painting but to something alive through which passes silence...

Dana, 6323 Hollywood Blvd, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

Finally, why not a movie?

Because of the silence and stillness, because of the power of the fixed image and its circulation as an object.

On Hollywood is the boulevard but it is also movies?

Everything transits through the image. We are shaped by the image. We need to try and have a critical gaze on the image.

My series On Hollywood shows women who really live in Los Angeles.

They probably came to project themselves in the Hollywood landscape and to take advantage of the possibilities of success in this landscape. But everyone knows this story. It is a current affair. Hollywood interested me more for the concept of landscape as fantasy. These women smoked in general. They are mostly dancers or actresses waiting for a part.

Emily, 2860 Sunset Blvd, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

Why smoking?

Because smoking in the United States of America and in California is a revolutionary act. To show that one does not care, that one does what one pleases despite obvious health risks, is already an act of protest.

What seems strange is that these women need to be outdoors to smoke whereas smoking, for me, was always something that took place during a romantic or friendly encounter, or we simply smoked as teenagers, sitting around a table talking.

To have to be outside, on the boulevard, in the forgotten landscape of Hollywood to smoke seemed astonishing.

Everyone was behind the wheel of their car. These women did not have enough money to buy a car. I met Ajibike at midnight. I was photographing another woman in a parking lot. She came by in a pair of shorts. She was muscular and walked fast. She handed me her card in a decisive way, as if it was something obvious... She also wanted to become an image...

Elisabeth, North West Corner Sunset & Poinsettia, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

Who are these women?

These are women who work in Hollywood : saleswomen, dancers, strippers, junkies, fetishists, unknown actresses, out-of-towners, lost... Women at the end of their rope.

Many identify themselves with actresses or famous people. In fact I understood that they identified themselves with images. Malaïka was similar to Marilyn Monroe even if she did not say it. She was always expecting us to make the connection though. She had many of Marilyn's attitudes : her giddiness, mood swings which would go from very sad to artificial joy... Elizabeth wore a tattoo with the date of Queen Elizabeth's death. Her face, her makeup, the thinness of her eyebrows and her pale skin were reminiscent of the Queen mother and the imagery linked to her representation...

How would you define the Hollywood landscape?

The Hollywood landscape is elastic. Timeless. The 1930s, the 1950s, the 1970s. A series of locations without end, all real, accumulated next to each other. Or images of locations which stream by you on the boulevards.

I was always told that Hollywood was dirty and full of junkies. Maybe this was behind the scenes : a masked landscape where thousands of women with eye-opening stories were hiding.

How was the idea for the series conceived?

In 2003, when I travelled across the United States to create The New Life, I decided to return to Los Angeles to photograph the women I passed by on the boulevard. It was unconscious, just a desire.

But the idea took several years to grow and take on a precise form. Although they were photographed in the Hollywood landscape, I wanted the series to give the impression that these women felt at home there, like they were in their bedrooms, lost in thought.

Kelly, 4306 Beverly Blvd, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

How did this idea evolve and how did you materialize it?

When I spent a year in Aix en Provence, in the southeast of France, I was part of a group of situationists which was very theoretical. The concept of psycho-geographical wandering, created by Guy Debord, was our main activity. Guy Debord defines psycho-geography as the study of the precise effects of geographical surroundings on the emotional behavior of individuals. And wandering is a technique to experience brief sojourns in a variety of atmospheres.

In Los Angeles I wandered through Hollywood. I stayed several months. I did not wander like a director of photography or an artist seeking new locations. I just tried to find places where I felt good physically, places which affected my emotional behavior. These places were street corners, bits of sidewalk and small spaces... I returned ten, twenty, fifty times to the same place.

I stayed for a long time on the corner where we see Elizabeth near a shop where they sell grass and near a tobacco shop. All of a sudden, Elizabeth, whom I did not know, arrived. I asked her if I could photograph her. She told me she would be back. I saw her get into the back seat of a car. Two men were in the front, one of them at the wheel. The car disappeared.

I figured she took off with some dealers. She returned and I photographed her. She seemed quite scared. She was thin. She wore a pendant with a small butterfly. She had braces on her teeth that fascinated me because of her age... I took my photograph quickly. I had the feeling she was going to fall over she looked so fragile... Then she said she had to leave, I asked if we could see each other again, she said : "Yes." We made an appointment on Hollywood Boulevard and she finally never showed up.

Did you encounter any difficulties?

Creating a series is always like standing in front of a chain of mountains of difficulties and overcoming them...

Ajibike, 6433 Hollywood Blvd, 2010 Courtesy of  Lise Sarfati and ROSEGALLERY

The uniqueness of your work is based on the gaze. It reminds me of Roland Barthes who said : « The gaze, if it insists (if it lasts, if it traverses, with the photograph, Time) the gaze is always potentially crazy : it is at once the effect of truth and the effect of madness. »

Truth and madness. Subjectivity. No, I think I first start with a subjective mental image and I try to make it cross through reality, I project it on the outside world. I expect from the viewer, that they will project their subjectivity into the image as well. Also, I hate explaining my work. It is made to be looked at.

Your rhythm could be defined as an oscillation between the character and the landscape but we never really know which one you choose...

Yes, I try to vacillate from one to the other... It is a construction which resembles me. It is also an idea or a way of life.

On Hollywood at ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles, 25th February until 26 March, 2012

All images Copyright Lise Sarfati Courtesy of ROSEGALLERY

Lise Sarfati in Huff Post

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Parisian-born Lise Sarfati has shown internationally and her predominantly female subjects are utterly uneventful and hugely momentous at once.

ROSEGALLERY will show back to back venues, first opening Feb. 25th with works from Sarfati's series On Hollywood, followed in March by the stunning photos from She.

Sarfati has made images of empty rooms, taken from the level of bed-height, where blankets, pillows, bed stands, knick-knacks, the chosen stuff of life -- none arranged -- speak multitudes.

That same uncanny, oblique entry point that ends somehow in riveting vision characterizes her images of women. On Hollywood features, predictably, views of the broken in and around Hollywood. Swollen, used up, tired in a way someone that age ought not be, Malaika looks beyond us, a bagged booze bottle in an arm that melds with the smudge of night neon.

Yes, it has been done and done again by everyone from Robert Frank to Philip-Lorca diCorcia. And to some extent this is another iteration of that puffy eyed, densely made up, hung over, hooking and preening, acquiring and being acquired broken dream world of the bleached blond and dominatrix come west to seek the promise land.

But the difference here is that these starkly colored, crystalline clear images are so flat-footedly compelling -- in that Eggleston kind of matter-of-fact way -- that any existing, stored narrative we might want to plug in, conjure up, or default to simply fails us in the face of the person that confronts the camera.

There are photographers -- Graciela Iturbide -- who beautifully disappear from the image -- so deep is their empathic connection with their subjects. Sarfati's particular gift -- part sixth sense, part serious study of the cinematic vision of Vertov or Pasolini -- is precisely the opposite.

There is a way in which her subjects never lose sight of themselves being watched, never can and may not want to shake loose their position -- existential, social, photographic -- as objects. Sarfati's women acknowledge, even seem in some way defiant conspirators in our relentless scopophilic use of them.

2012-02-16-Dana.jpg

The result is that Dana - -standing before a broken down theater, tattooed, in grotesquely high heels -- entices us to look (and we do!), lives for and through our inability to resist taking her in visually, yet is somehow deeply sullied by the exchange. As a subtle study of the complexities of female identity (and the negotiations of intimacy and self in general), this work is quite profound; as photography these images are just plain aesthetically gorgeous. Once again, ROSEGALLERY brings us some of the finest international photography around.

Images courtesy of ROSEGALLERY

Lise Sarfati's "She" Portraits of Four Women

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For this week’s issue, Lise Sarfati photographed the concert pianist Hélène Grimaud for D. T. Max’s Profile; earlier this year, Sarfati photographed the feminist writer Élisabeth Badinter for Jane Kramer’s Profile. “Even through Élisabeth did not like to have her photograph taken, she opened her world to me,” Sarfati told me. “Hélène was different: a sort of star in the sky. Right away she was more distant and enigmatic.”

To my eye, these two intimate views echoed Sarfati’s portraits of the four women in her recently completed body of work “She.” Sarfati photographed Christine, her sister Gina, and Christine’s two daughters Sloane and Sasha over the course of four years, in California and Arizona. “Each woman is photographed alone and acts like a mirror to the others or to herself,” Sarfati said. “I was interested in Christine’s instability, Sasha’s melancholy, Sloane’s capacity for transformation, and Gina’s gender ambiguity.” Here’s a selection from her forthcoming book, to be published by Twin Palms this fall. Sarfati will have two solo exhibitions at Rose Gallery, Los Angeles, in spring 2012, and a retrospective at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, in 2014. Her work can also be seen in Rose Gallery’s booth at Paris Photo this November.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2011/10/lise-sarfati-she.html#ixzz1lvEkyXEW

Lise Sarfati: Women on the Verge

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After living and working in Russia for 10 years, in 2003 the French-born photographer Lise Sarfati decided to drive across America: “Just a road trip from the east to the west, like in the American tradition of photography, but not with the same spirit,” she explained last year in an interview for the online site ASX. On that first trip she concentrated on the lives of young, middle-class women, much the same kind of people who might make up the audience for her pictures. She hoped viewers would identify with her subjects, who in the mutability of their appearance – dress, hair colour and make-up – expressed the fragile sense of personal identity in a society where image is all. Since then she has completed several series of pictures, two of which will be shown next month, one in London, the other in Los Angeles.

Please check out the entire article here from FT Magazine.

Lise Sarfati in AnOther Magazine

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Who? Photographer Lise Sarfati is an eclectic and unusual amalgamation of cultures and influences. Born in France, and starting her photographic career aged just 13, she followed the completion of her Russian Masters degree at the Sorbonne with a decade in the Soviet Union, before moving to California in 2003. She now splits her time between Paris and the United States, with much of her work being inspired by the people and culture of her adopted nation, particularly focused on life in small-town America, where she can create relationships with her subjects, gain their trust and create a true portrait of their lives. Her latest exhibition, She, is currently at the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery in London.

Sloane #07, Oakland, CA 2007 © Lise Sarfati, Courtesy of Brancolini Grimaldi

What? In She, Sarfati revisits two sisters, Sloane and Sasha, who had been the subject of an earlier series, along with their mother Christine and her sister Gina. She focuses on the minutiae of their daily existence, capturing them slumped on the sofa in their living rooms, emerging out of the front door, waiting at pedestrian crossings and shopping in local stores. Yet while these activities shown are normal, banal even, the pictures themselves are riven with a sense of melancholy, of near-madness, of tragedies hinted at yet untold. Under the clarity of Sarfati’s lens, with its Eggleston-style lines and compositions, the outward personas of these slim, attractive women start to unravel, and a discomfiting darkness emerges. A shot of Christine topless in the desert takes on new meaning when it is revealed that she is high on magic mushrooms, as does the shot where she is wearing a wedding dress – a garment that she owns yet has never worn for real. Sasha, who only appears twice, is palpably uncomfortable in the camera’s glare, and Sloane, who appears most frequently, is shown in a number of different guises; wigs and make-up transforming her appearance but never muting the shadows lurking behind her eyes.

Why? Sarfati is adept at placing herself on the peripheries of others’ lives, capturing deceptively simple images that, on closer inspection, exude a strangeness, an alienation, that belies their superficial banality. The four characters in the series, related by blood, similar in physique and appearance, are fashioned into what Sarfati describes as “a woman with four heads.” Despite always being shot separately, they are inextricably intertwined with each other: with questions formed and answers given by the offsetting of their differences, and the tensions of their similarities. Through this, Sarfati has created not simply a portrait of a family, but also a universal meditation on many facets of being a woman today.

She is at the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery until March 17.

Text by Tish Wrigley

Text and image from AnOther Magazine.

Lise Sarfati talks to Elizabeth Avedon

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French-born Lise Sarfati has lived and worked in the United States since 2003. She has produced six important series of photographs in America, each followed by major exhibitions. They include The New Life (2003), Austin, Texas (2008), She (2005-2009), Immaculate (2006-2007), Sloane (2009), and On Hollywood (2010). Two upcoming shows of her third series,She, will open shortly in London and in L.A., with a Twin Palms monograph to follow in the Spring, 2012.

Publisher Jack Woody (Twin Palms) confided about Sarfati’s work, "When I look at the women in her photographs I suspect in some way they are all self-portraits. Lise sees in these women an incredible endurance, confronting their circumstances across the surfaces of the indifferent western landscape they have come to occupy."

To view the entire article from La Lettre please click here.

Lise Sarfati Q&A from The Telegraph

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Lise Sarfati (1958-) lives and works between Paris and the United States. As a child she lived in Nice in the south of France and began taking photographs at the age of 13 of old ladies in their apartments and on the Promenade des Anglais. To begin with she taught herself photography learning from books published by Robert Delpire. She went on to study Russian at the Sorbonne in Paris and following her Masters Degree she decided to spend ten years documenting the history of the Soviet Union, Russia and its subsequent collapse.

Since 2003 Lise Sarfati has worked in the US. A road trip across the States in 2003 became The New Life (published by Twin Palms in 2005) in which she photographed young people in their own environments in a variety of small towns throughout America. She also conceived and produced a fashion magazine, Austin Texas, in 2008 in which she used ordinary girls in Austin as models or “characters” and photographed them in their usual surroundings.

Sarfati is currently focused on presenting SHE to a wider audience. Created between 2005 and 2009, it focuses on two pairs of sisters of the same family, but of different generations, living in Oakland, California. The banality of the settings Sarfati chooses, ordinary living rooms, shops and streets, gives each image a vivid psychological intensity. The composition is kept simple, constructed without effects, though each image is suffused with rich colour and atmospheric light. But the defining characteristic of this work is in the choice of the women she has photographed: they speak of a second America, of the underground and of antiheroes.

SHE will be at Brancolini Grimaldi from 3rd February until 17th March 2012.

What's the greatest picture you didn’t take?

The series by Michael Schmidt of Berlin-Kreuzberg Stadtbilder 1984, specially the first one which is untitled.

Which photographer would you most like to (a) work with and (b) talent spot?

I work alone. It is difficult to share a vision as there should be only one vision for one work.

What keeps you awake at night?

Working on my upcoming book just days before going to press.

If you hadn't have become a photographer what would you have like to have been?

A writer.

Do you have a life philosophy?

Having a vision.

How do you germinate ideas for your work?

Projecting myself in the outside world.

You in three words

Poetry. Passion. Beauty.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Keep your freedom.

SHE, a monograph published by Twin Palms with a text by Quentin Bajac, will be released in Spring 2012

Photo and text from The Telegraph

Financial Times - Lise Sarfati

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Image courtesy of artist and ROSEGALLERY

Fantastic article for Lise Sarfati's new work. Lise's series She is on view now at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery in London.

Her On Hollywood series will open at ROSEGALLERY February 25th.

To view full article click here

Lise Sarfati’s “She”: Portraits of Four Women- The New Yorker

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The view from The New Yorker’s photo department.

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For this week’s issue, Lise Sarfati photographed the concert pianist Hélène Grimaud for D. T. Max’s Profile; earlier this year, Sarfati photographed the feminist writer Élisabeth Badinter for Jane Kramer’s Profile. “Even through Élisabeth did not like to have her photograph taken, she opened her world to me,” Sarfati told me. “Hélène was different: a sort of star in the sky. Right away she was more distant and enigmatic.”

To my eye, these two intimate views echoed Sarfati’s portraits of the four women in her recently completed body of work “She.” Sarfati photographed Christine, her sister Gina, and Christine’s two daughters Sloane and Sasha over the course of four years, in California and Arizona. “Each woman is photographed alone and acts like a mirror to the others or to herself,” Sarfati said. “I was interested in Christine’s instability, Sasha’s melancholy, Sloane’s capacity for transformation, and Gina’s gender ambiguity.” Here’s a selection from her forthcoming book, to be published by Twin Palms this fall. Sarfati will have a solo exhibition at Rose Gallery, Los Angeles, in spring 2012, and her work can be seen in Rose Gallery’s booth at Paris Photo this November.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2011/10/lise-sarfati-she.html#ixzz1cTszmRF6

“Gina #12 Oakland, CA” (2009)

“Sloane #06 Oakland, CA” (2005)

“Christine #21 San Francisco, CA” (2005)

“Sasha #07 Phoenix, AZ” (2007)

“Christine #11 San Francisco, CA” (2005)

“Christine #13 Oakland, CA” (2009)

“Christine #10 Hollywood, CA” (2006)

“Sloane #66 Oakland, CA” (2009)

“Gina #24 Oakland, CA” (2007)

“Sloane #16 Oakland, CA” (2007)

“Sasha #20 Emeryville, CA” (2007)

“Sloane #62 Oakland, CA” (2007)

Workshop with Lise Sarfati

Added on by ROSEGALLERY.

June 18 - 19, 2011, Pianello Val Tidone, Italy

Cesuralab presents a new class in the 2011 educational program: a 2 day (weekend) workshop with Lise Sarfati, member of Magnum Photos.

Students will have the rare opportunity to show their work to a unique eye in the photography world, and share with the teacher ideas and suggestions about how to create a body of work, focusing on the way to reveal ones soul in a photographic project, the process of editing, and the concept of seriality.

The workshop will also focus on the creative process of making a photographic book and the guidlines on how to make it succesful.

During the 2 days Lise will also present her work to the students and discuss her approach to the subject of a photographic project, and to the realisation of the photographic project itself.

For more information, click here.

Lise Sarfati

Added on by ROSEGALLERY.

French photographer Lise Sarfati has lived and worked in the United States since 2003, and has produced six series of photographs with resulting exhibitions and publications during her time in the US. With her photographs Sarfati says she conveys "a vision in which the individual is environment, a map outlining a perilous cultural geography." She goes on to emphasize that the simplicity of her photographs and richness of perception are constructed without effects to capture "a determinism of the heroic, inevitably tragic figure."

Her publications include "Austin, Texas" published by Magnum Photos (2008), "The New Life—La Vie Nouvelle" published by Twin Palms (2005) and "Acta Est" published by Phaidon (2000).

Sarfati is represented by ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles and Yossi Milo, New York.

Lise Sarfati interview on American Suburb X

Added on by ROSEGALLERY.

Sloane #30, Oakland, CA. 2003

By Robert Wiedenfeld for ASX, March 2011

Robert Wiedenfeld: Initially how did the concept develop for The New Life (La Vie Nouvelle)?

Lise Sarfati: I just wanted to go to the States and to work there. I loved the feeling of my body in this space I felt free. I decided to do a road trip and to produce it myself. François came with me. I had no idea what I wanted to do. Just a road trip from the east to the west like in the American tradition of photography but not with the same spirit. I realized quickly the circulation of people was quite strange as in Europe we are more used to seeing people walking in the streets and appropriating themselves to the space (similar to the theory of the situationist regarding Psychogeography), or they were at home or at school or in their car, sometimes you see somebody at a gas station. Very quick the concept came to photograph young characters inside their home, in their garden and in the store next door.The concept also of a series came to me as I did not think about individual photographs. I wanted the frame of the work to stay in a very day to day life depiction of the middle class environment so that the people who looked at the photos could properly identify themselves. My questions were more geared towards how will I choose the characters? How will they have a connection between themselves and what was interesting to me really! Very quickly I decided to focus on a very challenging series with lots of ideas. The way a young person projects herself into another dimension, in another body, in another dream ... the exact movement of the projection. So we spent one week together, François and I, going around exploring different scenarios. Suddenly when I tried to speak with people they would not answer me. So there we were completely isolated in America while the US was at war. My perception was that people did not like so much the French people. As a result I began to say that I was from Belgium. The problem was that people did not know where Belgium was and it appeared to be an imaginary country for them. I also took an assistant along with us so that we could connect with the people faster. In order to connect with the people I would just point to him or her. So I didn't have to waste my time in explaining who we were all the time. During the whole trip I never saw my films and never knew what I was doing in order to go further I had everything in my mind because I wanted to stay in a suspended mood. I did not want to stop similar to an obsession as if I were writing a book. The fact that I never saw any of my films was very important for me. This was the first time also that I inaugurated this way of working I had absolutely no model regarding this ... This was something new for me also unknown that is why I was so excited.

RW: You have pursued youth in many countries throughout the world. What is your fascination with youth?

LS: Yes, that came from my inside feeling of being myself young even if I was not. Also it was a way for me to come back to a certain emotion that I only felt when I was young. By photographing youth I could take all my time to feel those same emotions again. I remember very well my sense of freedom as a child. However mainly I was very influenced by Witold Gombrowicz in particular his idea of perpetual (never ending) adolescence, his approach to the (human) form and by his persistence to have an adolescence like the subject of his narration. Also in Russian literature for example Dostoievski the youth is nearly always predominant as it is in Robert Bresson films. The youth I met before in Russia when I did my series with boys were mainly young prostitutes which came from the suburbs to Moscow so they were adolescents but also they were living a real extreme experience ... This tension between their life and their body and the atmosphere of never ending destruction took me to this theme. The way I worked on young characters with The New Life was completely different and I could have in me the Russian experience. With The New Life the environment was already predetermined so I could focus more on the characters at hand.

Suzannah # 23, Hillsboro, OR. 2003

RW: Lise one of my personal favorites from The New Life is Suzannah # 23 Hillsboro, OR 2003. Upon first seeing this picture my memory jogged back to a very short story that I read in high school called, " The Yellow Wallpaper." For me this image is perfection she almost appears to have just got off a ghost train of sorts ... also I love the strange little apparition that mysteriously appears just above the door frame in the top right corner of the picture. I just wonder how you so effortlessly construct these images that contain somehow a real emotional vacuum ...even if you artificially manifested this mirage I still maintain that you possess the mirror of a genuine clairvoyant .. Could you please deconstruct this image step by step?

LS: I met Suzannah in Portland at an art school where she was enrolled at the time. My first thought was that she was very very shy and very classical. As soon as I saw her I liked her. We did not speak too much. I was surprised she agreed to have her picture taken as I did not make such an effort to convince her. When we arrived to her house I was fascinated by the beauty of the house as I had never previously seen such a beautifully crafted house during our whole trip while traveling for The New Life. Everything was handmade from wood, there was a beautiful crafted staircase between the two floors. The living room was very rich in colours and very old fashioned. I remember the windows in the living room were traditional beveled leaded glass windows typical of the craftsman type homes in Oregon. Her mother was sewing dresses, old fashion dresses with very interesting cloth and I resisted to look at her work instead choosing to stay distant and focused on Suzannah. Suzannah was wearing this unusual yellowish mustard colored dress that presumably her mother made for her. I photographed her in every room not asking so much, especially in the bedrooms. I remember that she blushed became red during the shooting. For this particular shot we were in the kitchen where she naturally touched the glass of water. This was her natural instinct. Nothing was arranged you can see all this plastic and paper behind her that I did not touch. I did like that the plan was so large and so horizontal also I thought it was a nice touch that the arrière-plan was behind her. This picture was made during the day and I remember the way she put her hand on the pleats of her dress ... She was very quiet and her hair was obscuring her face.

RW: There is a real sense of continuity projected in all of your work whether the pictures were taken in Russia, China, France, or USA. Can you please speak about cohesiveness and the importance of authorship regarding your own personal work?

LS: I make all the works I do belonging to my own identity instead of being an observation of the world. My own experience drives me and I realize that my experiences of life were perceived more through the eyes of my youth rather than adulthood. I am interested in all sorts of projections. Also I will never do a mise en scene which will go only from my imagination or my mind I will use the potential of the personnage to give me a lot of possibilities and I will take a lot from either he or she. My specificity will be to choose the good personnage as Robert Bresson did in his movies, not professional actors, never models but encounters that have never been photographed before. When I was living in Russia much of my work was based on a mise en abîme of natural landscapes and stills mixed in a poetic way with my personnages. The main difference being that when I worked in the States I was primarily focused on personnages.

Rose #56, Austin, TX. 2003

RW: In The New Life series you refer to the girls as characters and the person in charge of the wardrobe as a costumer ... can you explain the roles of both?

LS: When I did The New Life the girls and boys I met were my personnages that is true but I did not have anybody managing their outfits with me. I could not think of changing anything in their clothes as their outfits represent a certain richness for me. I met a lot of girls who were very frustrated and they could only express themselves through the clothes they wear or through a color or a way to put their hair. I never asked them to change their clothes. The Austin, Texas series was something else as it was a commission of fashion work with a costumiere from Paris. I said to Leila think you are a costumiere and not a stylist it will help us to get where we need to be in terms of style.

RW: The use of analogous colors in your work is very distinct and as a result plays a very important role in all of your pictures. Could you describe the relationships between colours in your work?

LS: I work a lot on colors. When I began photography I was the photographer for the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris where I was doing reproductions of paintings. I spent a lot of time photographing with a view camera Monet, Dali amongst other academicians for the entire catalogue of the Académie ... I had a palette of colors for mixing and matching in order to find the right color ... When I am doing my prints my printer goes crazy as I could feel a point of a red or yellow or magenta ... I am very sensible about color perhaps because I spent all of my childhood in Nice in the south of France near the sun with a lots of white and blue. Then I went for the first time to Russia I was only 15 and visited the border of The Black Sea. I discovered the grey and I was fascinated by this world of no colour a very sad world ... When I came to America the color was everywhere and it gave me happiness I embraced this. I feel color like I breathe colour is my element.

RW: Which painters either modern or classical do you look towards for inspiration?

LS: I love the Russian artists from the 1920´s for example Alexei Kruchenykh, Kazamir Malévich, Natalia Goncharova. I love a lot abstraction, mainly Russian Suprematism but also I care for drawings. My masters for a long time have been Hans Bellmer and Unica Zurn for her drawings. I also like Fra Angelico and Giotto and a lot of other different painters so the list would be really long...

RW: Your pictures reflect a certain cinematic aura. I feel at times when looking as though I´m in the middle of a great movie while wondering what will happen next. Is part of what your trying to project similar to the approach of the mise-en-scène used by cinematographers?

LS: That is right. What will happen next is a good introduction to my photography. I would like the viewer to actively participate in the image. Of course I would be happy if the viewer could identify herself in the image also and do not look at it like a spectacle ... I think the feeling comes from the series rather than an individual image. I have been educated by Robert Bresson who elaborated the theory of the models instead of the actors. He said that the actors were doing theater and that we need real people, real emotions and he asks that the personnage will find themselves in the real life repeating a text about 10 times in order to let the real emotion keep going ... (that is what I feel too). The difference is that Bresson uses text while I don´t! The Text is in my brain (...) and I just project myself towards the personnage that I meet and it works all the time we just connect ... Sometimes some are dominating me sometimes I influence them but all the time something is happening and they will never forget that we met one day...

Lauren #57, Georgetown, TX. 2003

RW: Did you ever encounter a certain level of ethnocentric behavior exhibited by those subjects that you portray in The New Life Series?

LS: Yes in a way if ethnocentrism means to be an observer of my cultural group. I try to focus on an observation of personnages that mirror my own world or upbringing. These are mainly middle class from metropolitan cities. Additionally my work is not too much social. The girls and the boys of The New Life are those I am drawn to naturally however some are from very poor families while others maintain a middle class background. For example Terri was living in a trailer with her mother in Portland, Oregon. Madeleine was from a richer family from Berkeley and Gaelyn was living in New Orleans in a wooden house with only her mother who was a nurse and with her older sister ... I found a lot of common denominators between all the personnages and I felt that they were living the same life more or less and shared the same emotions. Their limits were based on their environments and on their circulation from their private homes to their school. Often the girls and boys that I have photographed were living in houses with their parents. They were mainly adolescents however what attracted me to them is that they all suffered a lot as well as sharing a certain propensity towards insecurity. The question for them is often Who am I? Where am I coming from? What do I want? Exactly like the personnages of Anton Tchékov in the 3 sisters. This is also why I decided to call my series The New Life as the notion came from Vita Nova by Dante.

RW: You seem to have a predisposition a knack for always choosing the right subjects while harmoniously weaving them into their own respective environments ... In The New Life you appear to be inventing your own Americana picture by picture ... industrial malaise, urban vortexes, suburban sprawl, etc ... How much of your process relies on serendipity?

LS: I think that I feel comfortable choosing the people I am working with. I feel them I feel that they have a little aura which creates a potential of freedom and a possibility to do a photograph. More so what I like best is the creative moment when I found somebody in a relationship with somebody else I met before in another city in another state ... That way for all time they will have something in common difficult to analyse like a magic circle that you cannot go through. I love to find my own signs inside the environment and to create my own universe which is becoming most important for me more and more as the world seems to me quite the same everywhere. I remember arriving in the states I chose what were the most significant themes for me at once and then step by step I discovered the small details. I enjoyed the environments as much as the personnages. My love is equal for the both ... Before I was photographing separately the two, one time a thing or a landscape and one time a personage then I associated the two which was the case in my Russian work especially demonstrated in my show in Salamanca, Spain and also the catalogue. Beginning with The New Life I felt good combining the two together and I felt that my photography was much more complex also adding a certain richness at the same time. In that way I could associate signs to personnage in the same image while simultaneously being precise also the idea of the personnage and the importance of the context...

RW: Could you describe the process of how you went about assimilating the sequence for The New Life book ?

LS: When I came back I never saw my photographs everything was shot with slides and I was really excited to discover the work entirely all at once. Initially I was of course scared to look as I knew that everything must be done with the edit. I wondered just how I would go about constructing the sequence. My time spent on editing and re-editing was very minimal. The decision came to me to introduce personnages which gave a disequilibrium to the series like Fenya ... Finally when I showed my work afterwards in galleries the collectors were focused mainly on very specific images which was not the same way I was looking at the work.

RW: Please describe the delicate balance between background and foreground in all of your pictures ... What is your mental process or rather the internal dialogue that you have with yourself before pressing the shutter?

LS: I am fascinated by the combination of the surrounding and the personnage. I acquired this skill when I was in Russia while I was doing strictly documentary photography. Then I worked on myself trying to understand what was the personnage what was the surrounding or the landscape and my specificity came from this balance. I recognize for myself the language regarding the relationship of which the subject has to the world .

RW: You shared that one of your main influences is the brilliant filmmaker Robert Bresson for various reasons. Bresson has stated that the number one rule to art is unity. He has also freely admitted to shooting the same scene again and again apparently looking for various nuances in the performance of the actors i suspect. How does this technique specifically re-shoots differ from how you worked on The New Life? Typically how many rolls of film will you expose to feel confident that you have what you set out to get?

Asia #33, North Hollywood, CA. 2003

LS: Bresson was totally against actors and never used professional actors. He used only real people that he found in various places. One of his ways to realize his films was to choose a text like a novel of Dostoevsky, adapt it to the reality of contemporary France and then ask the personnage (he calls him the model) to read the text but not to play it. For The New Life I did not shoot many rolls on each character around 3. I was concerned that my subjects would become tired of me quickly. In retrospect when I think about it I did not use much film. We just made appointments for the shoots everything was quite natural although I was mostly silent which must have been somewhat disturbing for the subject I guess. I already had the layout in my mind before I began the shoot. When I shoot I just take the pictures to have confirmation of what I already anticipated however sometimes of course this approach does not work. The personnage I expected verses the one I ended up with is often very different from girl to girl ... The problem is that my way of working has so many limits on which I am depending on where so much of the emphasis relies on the emotion of the person I photograph.

RW: Cinema has always been a close relative of fotographie ... In theory if you were given a budget free of constraints and were able to work under your own circumstances which kind of film would you make?

LS: Perhaps a black and white film becoming a color one something about the movement of the personnages in the city .. I would need to think about something close to my photographic works ... I will write a scenario possibly taking place in a eastern country mixed to another one ...

RW: You have a multitude of ideas regarding the female identity words such as internalizing, projections, intangible concepts, duality, and transversal themes. In your own words what defines femininity for you?

LS: For me femininity is to approach themes where women are shown in their relationship to the world, between themselves and in the way they struggle for their life in the society. I am interested by the body and the psyché of the woman I am also interested in maternity and in the relationship of the woman as a species. In The New Life series, the life of the adolescent typically expresses a certain boredom to the exterior world. In extreme cases this effect can climax into a big melodrama similar to the Columbine tragedy.

RW: You have stated that films can be more interesting although according to you the still image is more terrifying ... What do you mean precisely?

LS: For the moment I am more interested in fixed images as it is easier to realize than films which require lots of money ... I spend so much time to finalize a project between the time I finish my series and the time I am publishing a book and doing my show.

For The New Life everything went very quick the series was done in 2003 The Book published in 2005 and my first show was in London before the publication of the book. Finally I did a lot of shows with the series and I was very happy with the outcome as the public reaction was wonderful with lots of positive feedback from the shows.

www.lisesarfati.com

www.twinpalms.com http://www.franceculture.com/emission-hors-champs-lise-sarfati-2011-03-22.html

The New Life La Vie Nouvelle. Photographs by Lise Sarfati, text by Olga Medvedkova. Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, 2005. 120 pp., 50 four-color plates., 13x11".

The New Life, Lise Sarfati Magnum Gallery ,13 rue de l'Abbaye 75006 Paris 17 March to 30 April 2011