This post is also available in: French

In the village of photographer Denis Dailleux’ childhood, in Anjou, lived a woman of character, a true novel character: Juliette, his grand-aunt, died in 2007 at the age of 100. Between the photographer and his model, between the old woman and the young man, a unique complicity has set up a serious and funny game for over fifteen years, a game which sometimes took on the appearance of challenge, mixture of seduction, of bitterness and of malice.

Like a model, Juliette accepted the staging by Denis using the farm’s decor, playing with objects and plants. Over the years, the photographs became more daring, revealing an unexpected personality which seems to flourish under the lens.

Through Juliette’s portraits which are beautiful in their exactness, the reality of a modest and precarious rural world appears with its social codes and its values, where roughness sometimes prevails over wisdom. With her strong character and her refusal of what anyone would say, Juliette appears as a resistant driven by her intuition and a sensitive intelligence. From then on, the act of photographing becomes an act of life and these images today constitute a precious testimony on one of those ”tiny lives” dear to Pierre Michon, vibrant with humanity, which marks our common belonging to the world.

A first text written by Denis Dailleux provides the reader with some biographical details on Juliette’s life; we can feel her isolation, her economic fragility and the modesty characterizing her, but also her incredible capacity to resist which led her to accept the photographic adventure offered by her grandnephew. We found that a second text, the literary one, would mark the timelessness and the universality of this series. ”Born into a peasant family”, in her own words, Marie-Hélène Lafon admirably portrays the reality of the rural world in her novels.

Editor : LE BEC EN L'AIR
Publication year : 2019
Number of pages : 96
Language : French
ISBN 13 : 978-2367441375