Camera Clara Award 2019 went to the French photographer Delphine Balley at a ceremony held at the elegant Folia gallery in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in Paris. Created in 2012, this award recognizes artists working with a view camera as well as previously unpublished work of authorship, presented in a series.
Stairs going nowhere, a little girl lost in contemplation of a strange object, a man seated in an empty room: Delphine Balley’s chiaroscuro mises-en-scene make one think. “[The artist] wants us to believe in the unbelievable,” comments Michel Poivert, one of the award jury members. Indeed, what we are looking it is puzzling, enigmatic. We are able to identify every element in the composition (a man, a set of stairs, a statue), but can’t find the connection between them, there is no logic.
Created as mental images, these photographs don’t encourage decryption but contemplation. The artist explains that she thought them up as a “moment of suspension.” “You have to see them as a machinery that gives you access to a dream-world,” adds Michel Poivert. To conclude, he emphasizes that the photographer’s talent to pay tribute to the essence of photography, which is “an art of description open onto imagination.”
By Coline Olsina
Camera Clara Award 2019
January 9 - February 22, 2020
Galerie FOLIA, 13 rue de l'Abbaye, 75006 Paris