Sarah Seené ist eine französische Analog-Fotografin aus Montreal, die vor allem mit Polaroid und 35mm Film arbeitet. Ihre Werke projizieren oftmals eine seltsam unwirkliche Atmosphäre zwischen Traum und Poesie, gemischt mit Kindheitserinnerungen und Einsamkeit.
Sie ist außerdem Teil von „The 12.12 project“ und „World Wide Women“ – zwei internationalen Kollektiven von Analog Fotografinen. Darüberhinaus ist sie Mitbegründerin der Langstrecken-Kollaboration „I’ll be your mirror“ mit der amerikanischen Fotografin Sarah Elise Abramson.
Ihre Werke wurden neben zahlreichen internationalen Magazinen und Webzines auch in über 40 Solo- und Gemeinschaftsausstellungen gezeigt, darunter in Paris, Berlin, Prag, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Montreal und New-York.
Hier ein Auszug aus der Serie „Souvenirs de brume“. Viele weitere Fotos finden sich auf ihrer Website.
Artist statement – Sarah Seené
My photographic work is mainly around the notion of “I“. More than that, its viscerally full of it. This concern of the “I“ is always brought by the way I stage myself. Nowadays, with the importance of the social image and the selfie, where the narcissism predominates, the selfportrait is questionning itself. Throughout solitary walks, consisting of exploring streets, fields, forests and abandonned houses with either my instant camera or 35mm camera, I’m looking for a place to stage myself. I’m creating it. The notion of place is in the core of my series. Its intimately linked to my own life, to my story. To find our place or to give it to ourself. Where childhood left wounds, there must be a construction of the “I“ to assure our own survival. Words, too precise and clumsy for the pain and autoconstruction, are replaced by images, allowing to capture some hints under the mystery, without saying too much.
Analogue photography, tough and soft, is apprehended here as a mirror, a possibility to understand and access to selflove betwee childhoon and adulthood. Since 2013, mes selfportrait series are part of the concept of resilience described by the neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik: “Like in all development, we can speak of resilience only long after, when the adult finally healed, will admit the crash of his childhood. Resilience is a natural process which knits with its ecological, emotional and verbal environments.“ I want to apprehend my own reality by including me in poetic and dreamy landscapes, made of nature and light, both being my main inspirations. During these mise-en-scènes, the notion of loneliness is omnipresent. A calm loneliness. Alone with my devices, my tripod, my self-timer and a couple of antic dresses in a bag, these mise-en-scènes appear as some sort of rituals with myself, in silence, convoking patience and communion with the environment.
Analogue selfportrait is more suitable for mistakes. Everytime, I have an idea for a photo but the result has good chances for not being adequat. Especially with this unstable and expensive medium that is the Polaroid, which raises as much stress than excitation when the image appears progressively. Sometimes, afterward, I add to these mise-en-scène more creative steps on the materiality of the Polaroid. I use collage, superimpositions by transparency or emulsion lift on paper. When the result looks fine to me, my sense of well-being is amazing and the photo appears to me as a puzzle piece, like a unique object, that contributes to the creation of my identity.
The series Refuges, Botanica or Souvenirs de Brume are animated by this uncontrollable poetry. Not long ago, I started to work more in Black & White 35mm, where I’m being part of all the creative process, from shooting to hand-printed my image in the dark room. The ritual of “I“ has expended, maybe because it got more mature, allowing a stronger patience. Instantness is no longer an end in itself, but the quest for the “I“ stays my fil d’Ariane.