Wednesday, 11 February 2015

FACE UP by Auriane Defert

FACE UP by Auriane Defert

It is messy. It is raw. It is simple. It is vibrant. Auriane's work is all these things and more. She captures everyday life in all its ordinariness and plonks it in front of you for you to stop and think and wonder who these people are. It is not pretty or stylised but it it honest and true and, when I saw it, I wondered how I would look in a photograph by Auriane Defert. She doesn't ask you to pose for her - she sets you down in a place and she points the camera at your face, your world and there we are. As it is. Everything is stripped away. The veneer has been scraped off, roughly, but it is done quietly and with thought. This was not a quick shoot. We talked when she arrived at the house, we had tea and then we moved slowly around the rooms before Auriane decided where to start. She asked me to remove my shirt and it began. She seemed nervous but that was a nervous energy which she appeared to feed off and which is an essential element of her working methods. One other element is that she only works in 35mm.
I haven't had any photographs like this taken before but that was what I wanted but it was very interesting having a different brush applied. And, when I received the photographs from her, they surprised me. I had forgotten what I had been seeking when I first saw her work on Flickr. I looked through them all and there I was - hairy, overweight, awkward being examined by this camera held by this young photographer who isn't prepared to compromise and whose only aim is to tell it like it is. And this is how it was on 11th February 2015. I was intrigued, fascinated, impressed, flattered and very proud indeed that a photographer such as Auriane should be prepared to take time out to come all the way to Brighton to photograph the likes of me. 

We had another cup of tea and then I subjected her to some of my films and then she left, as quietly as she had arrived, with no fuss but leaving behind a memory of a very pleasant few hours spent with a lovely person who looks at life and the people in it, drops them into a paper bag and pushes how own breath in and then bangs her hands together and the contents explode and spurt and then she stands over the fall out and records it.  


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