Armelle Kergall | NATSUKASHII

“Natsukashii”: (adj.)A warm sudden feeling of sentimentality in which small things bring back some old, good memories while one remembers the fondness of that time. Fascinated by family stories, Armelle Kergall works on several series reinterpreting the idea of “Natsukashii”. She is presenting here two of those. “Selfies 1920–2020” is a series of collages that juxtaposes her grandfather’s “selfies” with her own, depicting their happy memories in parallel: birth, honeymoon, holidays etc. Among the numerous family pictures she rescued from her grandfather’s archives, there are a large number of self-portraits. She wondered, what were Antoine Kergall‘s reasons of representing himself? Was he just documenting his life and the different places he lived in? Was he testing the cameras? Or was he already practicing the “selfie” as we know it today, fixing on film his life as an anonymous Instagrammer. His pictures were challenging our approach of doing selfies. She decided to explore her own archives to compare their respective approaches and then began to mix and match their happy souvenirs together. She chose pictures that make us smile or that remind us of life’s important moments. Each collage is juxtaposing a picture of Antoine Kergall printed on classical baryta paper with a picture of hers printed on washi paper. For some of the collages she duplicated, cut, and reused pictures in different sizes. For others, she cut the image into narrow stripes, fixed the stripes on acrylic, and inserted them in the frame. For some, she even repeated the main character’s silhouette while cutting their shape out of other photographs. All these techniques attempt to create volumetric images through the superposition of different layers. The series“Natsukashii” tries to give back to the viewer a taste of lost paradise, of « Madeleine de Proust »* Be aware of our history, our place in Nature and most of all the importance of caring for each other and laugh are what we need to fall back on to basics, on what really worths living for. Combining virgin landscapes, antique ruins, childhood pictures and holidays souvenirs. Armelle Kergall layers memories on different bases as moving veils or transparent paper. 3D poetic and hybrid images pop up from this. *« Madeleine de Proust »: A famous French author Marcel Proust is sent back to his childhood with happiness while eating a madeleine dipped in a cup of tea.

Venue | L'institut français du Japon-Kansai

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