Showing posts with label Festival in Sete. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festival in Sete. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My New Love of Natural Light

Last week, I had the honor of presenting my long term book project, "Last Stop. Rockaway Park." in the south of France in the small fishing town of Sete at the photo festival, Images Singulieres. I was not only really happy with the presentation of the work, but also thrilled to be in the company of other international and great photographers... and as always it's a rare opportunity to share some brief moments with other documentary and/or fine art photographers since much of the time our existence and work can be very solitary. I highly recommend attending the next year because what I like most about this festival is it's lack of pretension and down-to-earth-ness.

In 2009, I was asked to come and live in the small town for 5 weeks as part of an artist residency with the organization Ce Ta Voir under the direction of Gilles Favier. In 2010, I returned with a new published book (my second) called "Sete #10: Juliana Beasley" and a wonderful show at the festival. I am only one of two women who have been chosen to do the residency in 8 years and I feel fortunate to be also in the company of Bieke Depoorter from Belgium who has created a very emotional and loving monograph of the village of Sete. Her work was presented in this year's festival, along with her new published book "Sete #15: Bieke Depoorter". It was wonderful to meet many of the other great photographers who had shows at the festival such as Marie Baronnet, Jacob Aue Sobol, Jens Olof Lasthein, Emeric Lhuisset, Carlotta Cardana and many others who I did not have the opportunity to speak with. I want to thank Carlotta for getting up on the stage at the Zanzibar on our last night in Sete and singing karaoke to ABBA's "Dancing Queen"... it can really only be done with at least two people!!

I want to lastly thank all the people involved in making Images Singulieres a great event for photographers and for anyone who has a passion for great photography. Many of the people who I want to thank are volunteers who made time in their own lives to make this event a big success. Thank you!

I was very fortunate to have the chance to take a portrait of Josephine Domino Douek who is a young aspiring photographer and singer. I met her while she was working as a volunteer for the Images Singulieres Photo Festival in the gallery where my work had been hung. Lately, I feel very inspired to to take portraits in natural light and since this is something relatively new for me, it is actually really exciting for me to switch gears. The light in Sete is incredible and it only took 3 visits to finally realize this!!! Here is the portrait of Josephine in her apartment.

"Josephine Domino", Sete, France, May 2015. ©Juliana Beasley

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A New Book and a Festival in the South of France

The Book Cover of "Sete 2010 #2010

Last week, I went to a remarkable gathering in Sete, a small fishing port in the south of France. A gathering of hard working documentary photographers organized by CeTaVoir.

The festival is 3 years old and called "Images Singulieres". It was a simple event organized by Giilles Favier, Valerie Laquittant, Christian Caujolle, a hard working staff and many many volunteers... Bravo to all of them. We had a blast! Wow, delicious home cooking served to delicacy from the talents of Francoise Davidenko and arduous staff!

And a big thanks to Nathalie Belayche of Food for Your Eyes who introduced my "Last Stop: Rockaway Park" work to CeTaVoir.

Last year in September I lived in Sete for 5 weeks... I previously mentioned the work while I was still working on it in 2009. It was a crazed idea that we actually pulled off-- make a book of something in the order of 60 images to publish as a book within 7 months time, from the time I began shooting 120 rolls of 120 film from the time that the work went to press in April.

Unbelievable, right? Or at least, I thought so. I still can't believe I survived, that we all came together to do this and now have an object. We have a book of portraits of the people of Sete and the tourists that pass through the city, parking their campers on the edge of town along the French Mediterranean.

As I sit here in my dining room, listening to the soothing tunes of Krishna Das lulling me to peace, I am far away from the challenge of last year of creating a piece of work in a short amount of time without losing my crackers or returning home with a acidic hole in my stomach.

That said, I did it! Just like the other two residents before me, Anders Petersen and Bertrand Meunier, given the same honor of working with free film to shoot, a book to be published and a show at a welcoming festival, I survived the the fear of coming up short, of the day to day, moment to moment, of meeting new subjects and captioning a personal vision of Sete. I found it without much intellect, but in chaos without reason or structure. I rolled with the punches and the truth of the moment. Perhaps, making art is putting the cerebral aside and just feeling the internal as well as the external and bringing them together in a clear moment of connection between model and subject.

In the end, I learned a new skill that made it all the worthwhile... I learned to make connections quickly with subjects and began to trust my creative intuition. Well, spent time!!

The week went quickly. I must make note of others who helped along the way.... Andre Frere of the French fine art publishing house, Images En Manoeuveres. We worked tediously over the last couple of months through Skype conversations, winter colds, his busted foot, and other unmentionables. I also have to thank my photo agency, Contact Press Images of which so many members, editors, photo directors stood by my side on this side. And I need to thank the city, the subjects in the book and mayor of Sete who let me scramble around, take their photograph and with great dignity!

The show was a success... the curator and writer of the book, Christian Caujolle did a lovely job of bringing the work to life at a historic site on a hill above the ocean. All good, all very good.

Not, to mention there was a wonderful line-up of photographers from abroad whose work was equally blessed to be hung in enchanting historic building around the center of the city. Some of the photographers include:

Jacob Holdt
Micheal Ackerman
Christopher Anderson
Lars Tunbjork
Gleb Kosorukov
Pieter Ven Hoopen

Sete is a wonderful place where the average non photophile has a curiosity for art and photography. It was a pleasure to see some many of the natives come to the shows and slide shows that Gilles Favier and Valerie Laquittant organized.

Please, take the time to look at the sites of not only the photographers that were part of the festival, but also, the festival itself. I felt proud to be in their company.

For now, the book is available through the publisher or with French Amazon.

Soon distribution will hit the states and other international locations.

Yes, I will keep you informed as I learn of the progress!

Peace as always!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Boy and the Cat

"Boy, Kitty, and Renault", Sete, France, August 2009. Juliana Beasley

Last August, a few nights after I arrived in Sete on the south coast of France, I walked up a hill with a backpack filled with my Rollei, film and flash.

I was exhausted. It was 2 or 3 am in the morning. The city was still busy with masses of people you had come to Sete for the Festival of St. Louis! Dancing, plastic glasses once filled with drunken concoctions littered the street, as I called it quits and headed to my comfortable residency home.

Just before hitting the final climb, three adolescents walked past me. An old Renault was parked off to the side on a narrow street. In a few minutes, I had photographed a young man. Not until later, did Gilles Favier, the organizer of my residency with Ce Ta Voir, notice two green glimmering eyes popping out in the back round. Magic does happen.

We are getting close to the end of putting "Juliana Beasley Sete 2010" together.

This will probably be my last posting about the book until it comes out in the early spring or even as early as late winter. But, ya' never know.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Scratch a Match and Sete, France

"Madame Li's Home Care Worker", Sete, France, September 2009. Juliana Beasley

Hi All!

I thought a last note might be a photograph from my new book called "Sete 2010". I lived and photographed in Sete, France during September 2009. I learned a lot during the residency. Hard lessons learned, but now the book is being laid out and it will be out in the Spring of 2010.

It was a difficult journey but in the end, I feel like I came away with a lot.

So, here are a couple of images that are about an aging Vietnamese woman living in Sete.

"Madame Li Holding Photograph of Herself as Young Woman", Sete, France. 2009. Juliana Beasley

"Madame Li's Slippered Feet", Sete, France, September, 2009. Juliana Beasley

Happy New Years....


Write a list of the resolutions you want to bring into the New Year and then write a list of what you want to leave behind in 2009.

Scratch a match and light the list of things you want to put behind you. Do this is in a safe place, don't use fuel such as gasoline.
I like to do these ceremonies over my aluminum sink. Let the smoke take it up to the universe and say, "So, long suckers!"

Peace and love and compassion in 2010!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back in Paris

Now, comes the super fun part. Editing with the talented and well-known, Christian Caujolle and Andre Frere, the publisher of Images en Manoeveres.

I came back to Paris on the 9th of October after a lovely trip along the Canal du Midi with Victoria.  As I was already living in Sete, we were not far from the beginning of the trail. We rented mountain bikes for trip from a wonderful bike shop in Sete.  The owner was incredibly helpful and gave us a bottle of glue spray that you put into the inner tube and fills up punctures. This stuff is fantastic as we needed it twice during our trip.

We took are daily breaks along the tree lined canal drinking local wines at ridiculously low prices-- one delicious bottle of Merlot cost us $1.50 USD. We bought it from the owner of a specialized distillery where the owner refuses to make white wine as he does not care for it.

We watched canal boats go through locks, some owned by private companies and some by families or brazen retirees. Hey, it takes a lot of man power to pull the ropes and get the boats through the locks. What a beautiful site when sitting in the late heat of October, drinking white wine and eating goat cheese infused with olive oil and rosemary bottled in a jar.

We could not find good restaurants which unfortunately, is the case with many tourists who get stuck in some overpriced place with a piece of rough sirloin and a waitress who despises you and is jaded.

If you have the extra money in pocket...which has become harder for Americans to enjoy a trip with the exchange from dollars to euros, please, take a canal trip. It's relaxing and peaceful. And if you research well, you can find one as we did that was more or less a flat ride from start to finish when we arrived in Carcassone.