This exhibition is the description of a world dreamed by Françoise Huguier. Without advertising romanticism, without lyricism, but as a collection of gleaned images, elegantly realized, without seeming to touch it. Close to people, in their intimacy, with an insolence that she claims.
The crossing of Africa at +40°C, polar Siberia at -40°C, the struggle in the jungle fever of the fashion shows, the nuns in Colombia in the intimacy of their cells, Southeast Asia in the 1950s and her youth today… the exhibition is not exhaustive, but revisits the strong points of Françoise Huguier’s photographic work.
Thus, the visitor will discover the world of this great photographer who is also a great traveller :
Polar Siberia, reinterpreted with a new choice of images, as close as possible to Andreï Tarkovski’s cinema.
A selection of vintage black and white photographs, printed by Jules Steinmetz: Françoise Huguier’s travel diary, from Dakar to Djibouti, On the Tracks of Ghost Africa, inspired by Michel Leiris’ book, L’Afrique fantôme, and the series Secrètes, dans les chambres de femmes in Burkina and Mali.
L’aventure-mode, linked to the newspaper Libération, which illustrates Françoise Huguier’s attraction to the know-how of the workshops and her challenge to succeed, in very difficult conditions and a very short time (a fashion show lasts 15 minutes) in making offbeat images. This extremely closed world, to which she was not predestined, was for her an anchorage and a revelation.
A small chapel, recreated in the exhibition, to present the series Les Nonnes, inspired by the aesthetics of the pious images in the missal of the artist’s grandmother and by the film Thérèse, by Alain Cavalier.
Saint Petersburg and its community apartments: nudes and the series of black dresses inspired by Natasha, the artist’s muse.
K-Pop and Hijab in Southeast Asia: a series of portraits of middle-class youth in Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bandung. This long-lasting work in colour reveals the influence of South Korean popular culture. As for the hijab, it is a reinterpretation of Islam as a fashion phenomenon, which could be called “pop Islam”. These two series illustrate the consumerist evolution of these postmodern societies, where appearance takes precedence over ideology.
I was 8 years old, or the hell of the jungle, which goes back over the history of the end of colonization in Indochina through the photographer’s childhood in Cambodia, with photos of course, but also letters of the time and the clothes the children were wearing at the time of the attack and kidnapping by the Viet-Minh in 1950. That she didn’t dream of!
Finally, a series of thirty previously unpublished photos, an intimate garden of the artist, completes the exhibition, of which the objects, symbolic souvenirs, are also part.