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Insight into

the past


After his separation with my mother and a bad LSD trip from which he was slow to recover, my father moved to the Basque Country in 1975 for a new start in his parents' holidays  home.

However, still unable to work, he imposed a marginal lifestyle where he sometimes refrains from driving my sister and I to school.

In the summer, the house was joyful, invaded by a family of artists of whom I was proud, but in the winter, once it became silent again, I suffered from loneliness, boredom and sometimes even shame.

my sister (on the right) and I • 1968

©Insight into the past

my father • 1977

©Insight into the past

Years later, back in this house with my camera, I created a character who embodies all members of my family staging memories: those that mark, those that we transform, those that we support. 

I associated to my work images taken in the 70s and films from the 60s shot before this marginal life where I had to take care of myself.

Through the allegorical form, I evoke the weight of family baggage, the figurehead of the family, the singularity of a being, dreams for the future or the house itself. 

Sometimes, the images are put back in the shooting place to show that memory shrinks or become distorted over time. 

Also, I redid some photos of the 70s with the same people, in the same place using the same Olympus camera.

In 40 years, some have disappeared, others have been born. Life goes on and the past appears in the present like a time trip. 

For each photo, I wrote a short story.


Insight into the past brings together eclectic elements that respond to each other and among which everyone can find the resonance of their own history. 

my mother • 1964
©Insight into the past


Why does one return to the old stone house?  Why

does one, in this singular light, commingle with 

this river and reflections? Why does one approach

naked as though it is essentiel to strip bare in order

to receive those memories? 

Because there is no choice...

©Insight into the past

Once upon a time...

There was a story inherited from generation to generation. Memories from life’s chronicle, engraved forever on everyone’s heart. No one could unravel the true story or reasons for decisions taken on which road to travel, or how to face the wind encountered on the way. But all are deeply aware of, and enriched by, the colours of the river from sunrise to sunset. 

©Insight into the past


Time passes so slowly when she is bored

But her boredom keeps her company

It empties her mind, leaves it free to explore.

She is grateful for this space.

She fills it with ideas, full of colour and spice.

©Insight into the past

my sister 1977
©Insight into the past
my sister 2023
©Insight into the past

Olympus-Penn EE2


The family portraits of 1977 and 2023 were taken with this same camera, bought by my father in the early 70s.


Created at the end of the 60s in Japan, it has this particularity of the negative cut in two, offering 72 exposures from a film of 36 .


With a vertical view, the focus is sometimes approximate but it correctly manages the exposure.

The charm of these photos is in their imperfection, their color and their border with rounded corners, revealing dust and defects of the poorly maintained camera. 


Father of a very substantial family, you have worked 

hard to provide the best for those you love. You have 

educated them rigorously so that they may choose 

honourable goals. 

You stand yourself against the headwind, like a 

figurehead, trailing in your rear, your tribe for whom 

you are responsible.

©Insight into the past

Bath in the river 1977
©Insight into the past


In the village, the young girls dance 

together before they become officially 


Romantic, the adolescent dreams of an 

elegant boy who will make her his princess. 

Sitting on the little stone bench near the 

band, she wears her pink satin dress, the 

one which reflects the string of fairy lights 

under which the first kiss will be exchanged… 

©Insight into the past

my brother and I • 1977

©Insight into the past

my brother and I • 2023

©Insight into the past

"Talking to Anne Kuhn is reminiscent of many other discussions with women similarly built on a fault line. They had chosen another means of expression to modestly tell their doubts, their loneliness, their inadequacy to the world. PJ Harvey, Björk or Catpower, women in rupture, also under construction, say in music what Anne Kuhn secretly says in her photos. The similarity of speech is disturbing, between these women who have chosen action, because it is louder than words."

Jean-Daniel Beauvallet, journalist, writer, music critic and co-founder of Les Inrockuptibles

Family on the stone wall • 1977
©Insight into the past
brothers & sisters on the stone wall • 1977
©Insight into the past

©copyright 77's pictures : Jakesa Artola Vallée & Olivier Kuhn

Sylvie 1966
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