L'Entre temps
Exhibition 20 January - 14 March 2021

Nl | Fr.


© Christine Lefebvre, série L'Entre temps #48, 2012, 100 x 100 cm

The journey

At dawn she slips out of her dwelling place and melts into a vast landscape, her 6x6 camera at the ready. At this moment, when light  passes, she lets go. She arrives at the core in a flux of events, some lasting thousands of years, others sudden, ephemeral and flashing. A cascade , a bird; She forgets. Scattered about, dissolved in space, she shoots when she sees the image from within her subject, when it becomes elementary, and the photograph will bear the stamp of this harmony.

Cosmically, microscopically, she flips through time the pages returns to her in the darkroom. She likes this quote from Pascal Quignard: "For man and most viviparous creatures, time is lost. In nature, and most especially in plants, time is found anew." She is waiting for that time. She needs a second, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. Footloose, no tripod, she moves, everything moves. It's still dark, and one second out of a life comes to rest in the box, peacefully. She doesn't know what it is, and likes it like that. Much later, when she's in the darkroom, she'll see if it is a real dream. These prints of time are a treasure. She attaches the greatest important to the ability to be reborn, and photography shapes her joy of living.

She sees an ice floe tossed about by the waves and asks it for its image. It was already burning away inside her and she recognized it. She has already been ice, fire and earth, the atom. She has already been woman, and remembers that she is breathing the air of ancient worlds. In town she doesn't recognize herself. She needs deserts, cold, hot, stark and original, the violent force of the elements, to experience our time as an immemorial shooting star. She comes back from these distant places with traces that have no name, photographs that have no titles. She sees no need to give name to something that exists outside language both before and after shooting. And black and white photography is better than color at capturing the echo of this world hovering between dream and reality.

The encounter

One day, travelling from one journey to another, she meets Eurydice, who was walking in front of her. An upside-down world, with Orpheus behind Eurydice, but for a photographer that's quite normal. She follows her, a thin old black lady, her skin draped by life, her hair in two girlish grey plaits. She stands upright and carries her age with great dignity. Overcoming her hesitancy, she insists on being asked to allow to have a picture taken of her back. She is struck by the fact than an item of knowledge emanates from her: let time accompany us with grace. This is an absolute beauty, truth. The lady offers her back. She gives her trust. Which is necessary, not only because neither she nor anyone else has ever seen her body except from the side where her own eyes are. She might well fear the judgment someone else makes about her back, that unknown, shadowy, terra incognita.

The plaits of the girl who still vibrates within her are bound by a single tie and from a lyre in memory of a myth. She accepts being unable to turn around during the pose , which perhaps she does not see the meaning of, but want to convey. And so through her model the photographer sees the child around whom she was built herself. And imagines the solitary rift that death allots, the shared shear that cannot be circumvented.

close by her, a song slips by, Leonard Cohen's Anthem: "There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." And where she failed to lose her footing, there life is reborn. The landscape has dissolved into an uncertain, shallow depth of field. This is one of the first backs to be photographed. It opens the door to a whole sequence of images, each in turn revealing glimpses of traces, maps, lines on the back, wastelands beyond the mirror, sculptures and statues without eyes, forever enigmatic. There are backs of stone, backs of foliage, one with wings, of a phoenix that has fled.

The return

The following days, she goes down into the laboratory and develops her photographs. She loves being down there, where she reawakens the promises that life lie asleep on the negatives, bringing them out into the light. In this silent space she listens to her score. Selects the photographs that still bear traces of the desire that released them. Succeeds in giving them bodies, shadows and light. She, who cannot forget the scene in Federico fellini's Roma, in which frescos that have barely been discovered fade away, enjoys how grains of silver that have barely been lit beneath her eyes, darken.

The door opens on literature, cinema, photography. Like everyone, she has some with her, but is much attached, first and foremost to Mario Giacomelli, then, in no particular order, to Shoji Ueda and Diane Arbus, Ingmar Bergman, Bill Viola, Pina Bausch, Gao Xingjian, Pascal Quignard and Fabienne Verdier, and then others as well, who stick to it. The artists' genealogical trees murmur in their memories. 

The images

Powerful front and centre framing. Her square frame recentres both horizontals and verticals. whether close up or far off, her subjects occupy space in the same way. It seems there is no background. Everything is right there facing you. Blurs and greys stretch out between melancholy and assertion. Grounded, sonorous, deaf, airy.

A gaze fixed on that which unceasingly passes by, breathes and remains.

Corinne Mercadier

Translation: Gray Sutherland



© Christine Lefebvre, série L'Entre temps #71, 2016, 45 x 45 cm


Christine Lefebvre, 
L’Entre temps

Text : Corinne Mercadier, fr-eng
Trézélan, Filigranes Editions, 2017. 
Size 30 x 22 cm, 80 pages, 
46 bichromy photographs 
hard cover 
ISBN 978-2-35046-426-8 
Price : 27 €