Simone Simon, the vagaries of water – Liberation

No one would be able to locate the places without the labels which, although laconic, all the same mention a country, or a region, as well as the (recent) year to which the shooting corresponds. No more. Simone Simon’s evanescent landscapes jealously preserve their share of enigma, floating, indecisive lands, without borders or demarcation, where solid and liquid elements cohabit, overlapping in a delicate dialogue tinged with timeless melancholy, at most disturbed by what ‘one guesses to be the flight of a bird. From Iceland to the Bay of Somme, however, humans have no place here, undesirable as they are on these vertical bands which often refer to a pictorial register inviting contemplation. What Chiara Palermo, lecturer in philosophy of art, calls, in the presentation text, “an awareness of the gap that constitutes our representations and our values”.

Consubstantially horizontal, a dozen large-format color prints, and a three-minute video – a static shot on an arid Spanish territory with modest traces of vegetation distracted by the wind – thus compose water story. A quiet and harmonious rosary which, at the top of a staircase, occupies the sober gallery of the School of Fine Arts of Versailles. “The lines that structure the image, the texture, the smoothness, idealize these photographs. I work in digital, but having practiced film for a long time, I do not retouch my images. The protocol that I undertake for their realization imposes strict rules on me, which makes it the rarity“, explains Simone Simon – perfect namesake but not related to the French actress in vogue in the 30s and 40s.

Mainly involved in the world of fashion between the 80s and 2000s, the photographer, who lives and has spent most of her career on the Côte d’Azur, felt the irrepressible urge to take the tangent, get out of the confinements linked to the Covid pandemic. Great good for him.

water storyby Simone Simon, exhibition at the gallery of the School of Fine Arts in Versailles, free admission from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., until April 15.

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