L'ame du fond

Stéphane Lagoutte Exposição de Fotografia
16 Mar — 05 May, 2019

Photographing the streets of Beirut arouses suspicion. This is due to security issues, the fear of the attack. A distrust that I had not seen anywhere else pushed to this point. There are the streets where a military post is located, a ministry, the street in which so and so died, lived or lives. But there are also the streets without all that, and where, nevertheless, I was looked at as an intruder, whose intentions are not very well defined and who represents a potential danger. This is the part that interested me. I was observed by anonymous people whom I in turn wanted to observe. I walked around and photographed these people on their balconies. Instants suspended in the city. Then, through painstaking work, I redesigned them to monumental size. This laborious gesture was both a poetic and political way of giving them back their place.

Just as painting has set out to transcribe great historical scenes, here the banal is transfigured. Instants made of nothing and which nevertheless raise these anonymous people to the height of History, of which they are witnesses and actors. They contain within themselves, in their mere existence, the fears and sufferings of their nation’s history. And the most minimal gesture there is, looking at the world through the window, puts on the clothes of the human condition. They become heralds, bearers of myths and harbingers of tragedies which, like a tidal wave, are inexorably sweeping the world.