I set the scene at the the 70's, a carefree era when little attention was given to children, where adults left an established and conventional order, sometimes passing through a marginality which was not without consequences.
After a bad LSD trip from which he was slow to recover, Olivier moved to the Basque Country in the 70's for a new start in his parents' holidays home. However, still unable to work, he imposed a marginal lifestyle where he drived his daughter to school only one other day. In summer, the house was joyful, invaded by a family of artists but once it became silent again, loneliness, boredom and sometimes even shame were felt. Olivier is my father, Years later, back in this house with my camera, I created a character who embodies members of my family staging memories: those that mark, those that we transform, those that we support. Through the allegorical form, I evoke the weight of one's history baggage, the figurehead of the family, the singularity of a being, hopes, dreams for the future... Sometimes, the images are put back in the shooting place to show that memory fades over time.
Why does one return to the old stone house, why does one, in this singular light, commingle with his river and reflections, why does one approach naked as though it is essentiel to strip bare in orderto receive those memories?
Because there is no choice...
To this work I associated images of the 70s, some of which are reproduced today with the same characters, in the same place, employing the same Olympus camera. To the old photos, I joined films from the 60s shot in this same house before the time I had to take care of myself. In 60 years some have disappeared, others have been born. Past appears like a time trip. For each photo, I wrote a short story. The Images of the Olympus are illustrated with lyrics from pop songs of the 70s, whose words instantly immerse us in those times.
ONCE UPON A TIME...
There was a story inherited from generation to generation. Memories from life’s chronicle, engraved forever on everyone’s heart. With this more or less light baggage, we will have to go on the way to life whose directions to be taken will not always be shown ...
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. Without her boredom, would she have imagined so much beauty?
« Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. »
Blackbird - Paul McCartney & John Lennon - 1968
The family portraits of 1977 and 2023 were taken with this same camera, created at the end of the 60s with its 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.
He, the soldier, the faithful husband no longer understands much his time.
He may not get it but at more than 80 years old, he watches, listens, helps.
He is standing, like a figurehead causing in his wake, a tribe he is responsible for.
« So happy together.
How is the weather?
We’re happy together. »
Happy together - The Turtles - 1967
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…
«Many times I've been alone and many times I've cried.
Anyway you'll never know the many ways I've tried.»
The long and winding road- The Beatles - 1974
J.D. Beauvallet, co-founder of Les Inrockuptibles :
"Talking to Anne Kuhn is reminiscent of many other discussions with women similarly built on a fault line. 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."
«I’m being followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow moon shadow.
Leaping and hopping on a moon shadow, moon shadow moon shadow.»
Moonshadow - Cat Stevens - 1971
©copyright 77's pictures : Jakesa Artola Vallée & Olivier Kuhn