Filtering by Tag: She

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

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: Exit Magazine

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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“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)