Denis Dailleux's Ghana
James Town, Ghana, 2009 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
"Le Gilles" de Takoradi, Ghana, 2010 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
La femme au bébé, James Town, Ghana, 2010 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
La voile, James Town, Ghana, 2010 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
La tunique, Cape Coast, Ghana, 2010 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
Trois fillettes, James Town, Ghana, 2010 ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
La grand-mère de Kojo, Agona Swedu, Ghana ©Denis Dailleux Courtesy galerie Camera Obscura
Because he has been living in Cairo for nearly 5 years and has been traveling to Egypt for more than 18 year, it is easy to associate Denis Dailleux’s work with this country. How could it be otherwise with a bibliography like his. Le Caire, published by the Editions du Chêne in 2001, Fils de Roi, Portraits d'Égypte published by Gallimard in 2008 and Impressions d'Égypte, 100 pictures selected by Gilbert Sinoué, by la Martinière publications in 2011. However, the latest exhibition presented at the Camera Obscura gallery until Octobre 22 is entitled Ghana, The Fishers of Jamestown.
His photos are even more complete, poetic, and tender. Is it because the horizons have changed, pastel colors replacing small city streets, while the “clair-obscur” and fishermen’s movements with their nets bring us into a harmonious ballet composed by the photographer through patience, calm, a subtle choreography.
Denis Dailleux is not shutter happy. He watches, moves, discovers. He intervenes rarely, waiting for the right composition to develop itself. Not the decisive moment, but the poetic moment. Little by little, two to three week trips during which, with black and white film of course, he takes one hundred rolls of pictures.
To the question “why Ghana?”, he evokes Paul Strand’s 1976 book, Ghana, an African Portrait, printed the year of the author’s death. And the promise he made to himself to visit this country. A kind of lassitude with Egypt did the rest despite the apprehension given that there are so few books about this country. The total discovery without prejudice led him to the fishing village of Jamestown with their traditional boats, quickly discovering a Christian south far more friendly and hospitable than in the north. His approach took time, offering pictures each journey in order to win over their trust.
The Camera Obscura gallery is exposing 26 medium and large format prints that make up a part of the production between 2009 and 2011, one that is far from being finished.
The second issue of the magazine 6 mois will feature a 32-page portfolio featuring a text by Patrick de Saint-Exupéry who returned in Denis Dailleux’s footsteps, interviewing the people in his pictures.
Denis Dailleux’s Ghana
Until October 22, 2011
Galerie Camera Obscura
268 Bd Raspail
+33 (0)1 45 45 67 08
Tuesday through Saturday, 1pm to 7pm