Marie-Hélène Le Ny

Families' photos
"PHOTOFOLIES", Dalle des Olympiades, Paris 13


©Anne Le Goff


On May 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 1992 took place the first Photomadness, organized by the Ministry of Culture. It wanted to be a friendly demonstration centred on a festive and popular practice of the photography.
In this occasion, I organized an intervention in the street, to realize photos of families. Due to the development of the domestic photography of mass, the family portrait "composed" at the photographer rarefied, for the benefit of a photography which testifies of the life of families in a more alive and less conventional way. However, it misses that there almost always one or several members of the family, at least the one who is behind the device. I thus settled down in my district, the 13th district, on the paving stone of the Olympiads, the pedestrian paving stone surrounded with big buildings which shelter approximately 15 000 persons. In the crossroads of 4 main accesses, I painted a vast circle on the ground, encircle in which I asked to the passers-by to come to pose in family. This small direction established a " composed ", voluntary photography, and an exchange with my models. After a period of distrust during which the children have the first ones answered my request, families played the game. Often, being crossed near me, a father, a mother or a child returned with the rest of the family.
Friendly and unpretentious, this intervention allowed me to realize approximately 300 portraits of families and groups, where the enjoyment of some contrast with the embarrassment of some other who(which) put a lot of solemnity in their pose(installation), been little used whom they are to be sought for themselves, and to been worried of the image whom they are going to give.
The second shutter of this operation seemed to me to be of evidence an exhibition. It joined within the framework of the 13th Art, during the autumn, 92. The district offering few adequate places, and as I wanted that all the protagonists can see it, even those who do not frequent the places of exhibitions, I decided to occupy the site of the recording. The paving stone of the Olympiads supporting a shopping gallery of full foot looking directly onto the outside, I asked to all the storekeepers to invest their shop windows - what they accepted. I then settled 65 photos of size 50 x 60 cms on all the shop windows of the businesses, visible from the outside.
To pursue the installation outside the paving stone, and strengthen its presence, a Morris column of the street of Tolbiac was dressed in 4 editions of 150cm x 127cm as well as of a big poster announcing the exhibition. 4 panel Decaux was also put to the accesses of the paving stone, in which were fixed the editions of big sizes.

After an inauguration in family, and in the cheerfulness, in "Quick" of the paving stone, all were able to meet, as well as their relatives or friends, in the surrounding shop windows.

(see the exhibition)