Hélène Bellenger’s colorful masks
In the early 20th century models photographed in the studio environment had their faces heavily made-up and covered with vivid colors. Eyes shaded in blue, red lips, green cheeks…: their faces were like strange, colorful masks. Even if the resulting photograph was black and white, it was necessary to apply makeup to the model’s face in order to emphasize certain areas and produce the best, the most appealing image possible. Hélène Bellenger revisits these photographs and colors them according to the makeup that would have been used at the time. She reveals the layers of color applied to the faces, highlighting their likeness to clowns or mimes.
The “hidden faces” by Mathieu Farcy
Terrifying faces, forever maimed by the horrors of trench warfare… The “broken faces” of the First World War will always haunt our memory and remind us of armed violence and the inhuman effects of industrial warfare… In order to let us see them differently, Mathieu Farcy decided to hide the wounds of those “broken faces” (“gueules-cassées”) with a wide black band. We can thus both imagine the wound and, at the same time, have an idea who the wounded person was without reducing them to their wound. Instead, Farcy helps us to see them as human beings who had suffered the atrocities of a mutilating war and who struggled in their new life to become again what they once were.
Sina Niemeyer’s therapeutic photography
The German photographer decided to confront personal childhood trauma; she had been a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by an adult. Her series Für mich represents the quest of a young woman searching for her own self shattered by the trauma resulting from this abuse. She speaks directly to her abuser: “You taught me how to be a butterfly only to break my wings.” In Niemeyer’s project, photography engages in an intense therapeutic process, serving both as an outlet and as a personal document that testifies to the immense effort of psychological and physical restoration.
Wooded grounds by Jaakko Kahilaniemi
One day, the Finnish photographer inherited 100 acres of land in his native country. Rather than sell it or try to make money off of it, he decided to explore the very nature of these grounds which house only clusters of trees and large clearings. Using photographic tools, he mapped it out and built an array of documents based on highly detailed studies of life on his land: the geological site, tree fragments, a history of the place…
Emile Ducke’s medical train
There is a train in Siberia that serves as a hospital on rails. The photojournalist Emile Ducke went to Russia to photograph this subject. He shows cars converted into labs analyzing tissue and blood samples, cars with patients’ rooms, and even one containing a chapel. This is an astonishing vestige of the Soviet Union that continues to be active in one of the coldest and least accessible parts of the world.
Sad proofs by Camille Gharbi
It was under the ironic title “Proofs of love” that Camille Gharbi decided to publish a series about domestic violence. The French photographer created images of the instruments used by a husband to molest his wife: a baseball bat, a hammer, an iron… The instruments send chills down one’s spine and denounce the widespread violence which continues to be condoned and tolerated. This exceptional series will be displayed at the Gare de l’Est in Paris in partnership with the Circulation(s) Festival.
By Jean-Baptiste Gauvin
From April 20 to June 30, 2019
Centquatre, 5 Rue Curial, 75019 Paris