In Case We Die
Capucin 22, Couvent des Capucins, 2008 © Sophie Zénon
Capucin 11, Couvent des Capucins, 2008 © Sophie Zénon
Capucin 6, Couvent des Capucins, 2008 © Sophie Zénon
Diego Longobardo, magistrat napolitain, Naples, Catacombes de San Gaudioso, 2010 © Sophie Zénon
Aristocrate napolitain 1, Naples, Catacombes de San Gaudioso, 2010 © Sophie Zénon
La Danse, 2009-2011 « Derniers portraits », © Sophie Zénon
The contempory art space Fernet Branca in Saint Louis a stone's throw from Basel offer Sophie Zenon the presentation from september 18th to december 18th 2011 of a small retrospective and most of all her last works.
Called In Case We Die, four hundred square meters to show her series on Palermo, Naples and her last portraits. The exhibition is coupled with a catalogue that integrates the text of Bogdan Konopka « taming death » a note in two keys that share his questioning, the representation of the body after death in the western world. A research she has ben working on since 2000.
What Sophie Zenon is trying to collect surpass the simple documentary recording of a show of gestures and superstitions. Her pictures shake off the torpor. Nothing cutting, every thing seem to float, turn, vibrate in a mysterious dance to Hades, a mute ghosts dance. A destiny already written, when one knows that the photographer started with a three hundred page essay in contemporary history on « behaviours in front of death in the western civilisation. Before she herself at twenty four had the brutal experience of loosing her husband. Which allows her to say « death is at the heart of our society » to be interested helps us understand our life, mental attitude, fears, and reluctences. Death is politic, economic,ethic and philosophy.
The exhibition will present Palermo a first serie in color on the mummies already presented in Paris in 2009 and at the Pierre Bergé / Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation during the summer of 2010 and rediscover the serie on Naples the « volcano city » that is in osmosis with death from volcanoes, earth quakes,endemic epidemics the presence of the macabre and of its memories is all over the city,either under the form of commemorations or ex voto, or by the.skeletons sometimes embedded in the walls or preserved in vaults were one goes to pray and ask for all kind of miracles.
In the serie « Last portraits Sophie Zenon renew old practice of doing the portrait of the departed on his death bed or coffin before burrial. She uses famous references such as « the burrial of the christ » of Hans Holbein the young or the « unknown lady » from the Seine a young women found in the Seine in 1880 who inspired Rilke, Aragon, Man Ray, Supervielle or Nabokov she also lean on the experience of embalmers who « taught her to surmount fear ». In this serie we will see opalescent faces, ghosts or greek masks? Next to pictures of those lying in coffins of which we only see the legs still dressed and ornamented, last derisible vanity, whose organistion, movement are a reminder of Alsatian death dance. On these via the miracle of X ray technics we discover in surimpression the nails that were used to close the coffin that evoque an other cross , other nails, other sufferings.
Sophie Zénon, In Case We Die
Until decembre 11, 2011
du mercredi au dimanche : de 14h00 à 19h00
fermé lundi et mardi
Espace d’art contemporain Fernet Branca
2, rue du Ballon
+33 (0)3 89 69 10 77
Auguste VONVILLE, coordination : +33 (0)3 89 69 10 77 – +33 (0)6 08 58 78 43