Guest photographer at the Planche(s) Contact festival in 2010

Lise Sarfati
Sandrine Boyer

Lonely teenagers

Born in 1958, Lise Sarfati lives and works in Paris and the United States.

She started taking photographs during her adolescence, while living in Nice. At the age of fifteen, she went for the first time to Russia to spend a vacation in the city of Sochi, on the Black Sea. She then obtained a master's degree in Russian at the Sorbonne after writing her thesis on Russian photography of the 1920s. She returned to Russia in 1989 and spent almost a decade studying this country in transition. After the death of Marguerite Duras in 1996, Lise Sarfati took a series of photographs of the writer's apartment and house in Neauphle-le-Château, collected under the title Post factum. In 2003, Lise Sarfati left for the United States, traveling through several states, taking an interest in the solitary lives of young women. In the fall of 2010, she will release a new book, Immaculate , a series of photographs of young girls taken in the fenced gardens of all-girls private schools in small towns in California. Lise Sarfati has been a member of the Magnum agency since 2001.

As part of Planches Contact in August 2010, she looked at Deauville and invited young girls from the town to pose for her at the Villa Strassburger. We discover these young girls standing, sitting or lying down. All their looks seem to be both absorbed by the preserved environment of the villa and sharpened by it. The garden becomes a protective cocoon, shielding the teenage girls from their immediate future, the state of womanhood. The photographer avoids capturing a simulated, theatrical drama, instead foregrounding the real depth of their - and her - emotions. 


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