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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pic of the Day

"Celia Behind Locked Door", Sete, France, Juliana Beasley 2009.


Less than one week left, I'm working ahead towards the 30th of the month. Than a lovely vacation with Victoria on the Canal du Midi. Wow, how long has it been since I took a vacation. Although, right now I would prefer prefer lying on the beach! Wouldn't you after the chronic photographer's ailment: the backache. 

I took the photograph above in the Arab quarter of Sete. Celia is part Algerian and French. She was a real tough girl and the oldest in her family. They live in a converted attic. Celia, the young "ado"(adolescent) lives in her own room locked behind a close door across the hall from the main living area where her mother, sister and baby brother live.  She didn't like smiling for the camera and stared deep into my Rollei lens as if she owned it.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Vulnerability Of Men

Nice Photographers Wear Dresses Too!
 Juliana Beasley written up in local Sete Newspaper in France, September, 2009.


I thought I would throw up this post. I was written up in the local newspaper of Sete, France where I am working on a photo art residence....if you are catching up on prior entries. I am making a book in a month which I believe should be a reality show for photographers called the obvious, "Survival Photo Book in 4 Weeks".

I am not happy with the part in my hair. It was one of the sweaty days when I pulled my greasy hair back; hence, the zig-zag part was not intended. Where was my stylist. At least, I got the dress right! Who says women photographers don't where dresses and cannot get the job done? All lies!!! 

I can actually read this piece that was written by Laurence Laden who was kind enough to take a morning to hear me blather on in circles about what I don't know. And she made sense of it in French. Problem, now is that the type is so small and I am too busy that I will not be able to translate it. But, heck, I'm happy with the title. It seems to suit me more than any of the subjects here.

Well, I'm in the final stretch, y'all. Got some lasting photos to show before I call it quits and hopefully a flip video.

To look at the article in larger form just click on the newspaper article and voila, all in francais!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo of the Day! Out on the Camping Trail.



The summer months of caravans and camping is done. Children and the Ados (short for adolescents) are back in school.  Walking down the hot stretch of a two lane highway,  all that is left now is a file of campers filled with retirees and the occasional child during the weekends. The single strand of campers line the beach front, an easy descent towards the hot sand and aquamarine water.

Last weekend, I made a day of it. I had my backpack on my shoulders and clasped around my waste, my Rollei around my neck and a hanging side pack which contains my Quantum battery, flash meter and film, shot and unshot. That orange side pack, should I regret to add, I bought from Walmart around a decade ago in Tampa. I tied its band in a not and used a safety pin to make it fall on my hip, instead of drag along the ground.

First, I stumbled upon a group of pasty Anglos taking in the sun. I turned to take a photograph of their burnt flesh until I climbed down the rocks and began a conversation that lasted an hour.  I was with a group of Irish retirees, in couples of two. They smiled and laughed at my banter. Freedom! Alas, no searching for words in French. We talked about Dingle and the County of Cork where they reside. The husbands were brothers, one taciturn the other full of questions.  After an hour, I knew that my purpose of the day was to take photographs and to return to the world of French speakers.

Three campers down after a man shook is head at me as if I had come to torment him. 

The next camper down, I meet a French retiree couple from Grenoble. She loves the mountains. He jests with me. Would I use the photograph to incriminate him....well, most of us doc people have heard this one time or another...this was my first time in French.  And if it needs to be said, he did look a little squirely. They offer me two glasses of a kind and lukewarm dry rose which under the heat of the still day is better than none.  We said our good-byes as yes, again it was time to move on and for me to work.

Snap, snap...I think I must be happier to sit on tarps that day laid out in front of side camper doors shaded with rolling canopies than to actually shoot.

A very blonde and burnt bosom strapped in a black bikini top peers from behind a black car...could it have been a Camaro?  No, probably not, although it appears to bare the semblance of the stereotypical mid-life crisis paraphanelia of sitcoms from years back.
I turn the corner to meet her on the other side of the door swung open, shielding her, I suppose from harsh afternoon sunshine. I reached to grab her hand and she refused. She has a look of fear upon her face hid behind a protective nervous smile.

I speak in French.

"Est-que je peux parler avec vous". She was sprawled back on one chaise and her husband on another who doesn't lift his eyes from a magazine. 

I reach to shake her hand instead of the three kiss southern kiss credo. She shakes her head several times and holds on tightly to a gossip magazine.

"No, thank you", she responded in a accented English.

I take the most blonde route...hmm, they must be German. She does have the doll face and plumpishness of a Marianne  S├Ągebrecht I try this time in my shakey German, now befuddled with weeks French speaking, thinking and now dreams. 

She turns around, as if I were a irritating ghost.  

Then I say the magic words, "Gratis". It works wonders around the world. I remember when I learned it when I was 16 and living in Italy. Latin is just so precise and still has a magical power to it.

From a prior experience, I made note on the camper trail that many people think that I am a vagabond traveler with camera in hand looking for handouts. Terror!! 

"We are Swedish," and then still, "No, thank you."

I reach to take her hand and she shook her hand. I ask her why? She says she doesn't want the sick. She doesn't want the "flu", in other words, I can only assume she doesn't want the Pork Flu. 

"Oh," I said. And walk towards a older and shockingly blonde Dutch couple who offer me a coffee, a step stool to sit on and philosophical conversation. At the end, the woman with dark sun glasses covering the wrinkled skin around her eyes, offers her hand and holds on dearly and tightly, her face close to mine and says like a platinum orb, 

"You must have a good life, live life strongly. I know you will."


Friday, September 4, 2009

The Images Singulieres Team in Sete, France

"Ms. Beasley as French Intellect in Caffe", 2009 summer, Sete.



So, here I am two weeks into my residency in Sete. Everyday, I am learning more and more. And what I have learned is this: it is hard to make a book in a month...difficult, but not impossible for the mentally sane. And since your's truly is not dealing with a full deck, she works a little harder and sleeps a little longer.

The days are spent approaching possible subjects. Telling them over and over again my purpose here in Sete. They can hear my foreign accent: sometimes, they think I am Spanish and other times that good ol' choppy American accent comes through.

People have been really open here and I have met others through the Ce Ta Voir organization. A couple of days ago, I photographed a young Joutes player preparing for the last tournament of the season. It felt joyous and fun to tap into the energy of a child so happy to be in front of the camera.

I have a schedule to make and hopefully, the time to afford to let in the spontaneous things that happen per chance while walking down the street. Yours truly has never been the photog with the camera on body at all times. Here this has to change. And man, sore back is part of the agenda.

I went to get an amazing Cranio Sacral Massage and some acupucture. The doctor was amazing and at the end told me that I would finally sleep...yes, some might notice the facebook remarks coming through at 3am my times. 

She said in a soft voice, "you will sleep now". 

And all I could think was, lady, you don't know me. I don't sleep right. I got home after a visit at the local museum Valery where my work will be shown in May, went home and fell asleep for 15 plus hours. I could have slept more but I had to do an interview with the local newspaper.

I am enjoying my time away. But, of course, I miss my friends and Moishe and Howard soo much. I feel lucky to have this chance. If anything maybe I might learn how to make a book in less than 8-10 years. Or does it even matter how many books are made anyway?

Here are some photographs from the digital of the organizers of the Festival Images Singulieres in Sete.

Voila! Sunny days still prevail!



"Yann as French Boy-Man Assistant in Caffe", Summer 2009, Sete.



"Gilles Favier very seriously looking over my first contacts", Summer 2009, Sete.




"Valerie LaQuittant, The Hard Worker and Sweet Smile Behind Images Singulieres", Summer 2009, Sete.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Could Be In New Jersey But I'm Not

"Tired and Tan in Sete, France" 8/09.


Hi Friends,

Letter from Sete.

The games have begun! I have arrived just in time for the Joutes games in Sete. A game to be taken very seriously and a badge of honor for those who dare to joust one another.

I arrived on Thursday morning and ate my first dish of squid. And I began to drink the Ricard. My new French friends find it very amusing that I take my Ricard with seltzer or rather the stuff that has the little bubbles like Pellegrino.  What I would do for some big bubbles right now!!!

Since Friday, the place is a full of tourists who have come to see the Joutes games. At night parties in the night with lot's of booze last until 5am. Night after night. So, you might wonder what Joutes is...if you don't know already. As it is hard to explain, I will ask you instead to watch the video from Youtube. 






Just imagine Sumo wrestlers holding poles, standing at the top of a elevated stern of a gondola and jousting as the macho dudes on horses did in medieval times. The point however is not to impale your nemesis who is either in a blue or red boat....the best thing you can do is set him off balance by pushing the pole into his armor made of wood. Just watch the video. 

Yes, and the people here love it too.

So, it's a big Sunday night here and the festivities will begin for me at around midnight. It will be a non stop night of shooting people in the streets and drinking. I am shooting lovingly with my Rollei Twin lens with Sun Pac or is it Pack?  The organizers of the Photo Festival of Sete want film and since they were kind enough to pay for it...I am happy as a squid!

Here however is a digital of me....as always...in the bathroom.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hello From Paris...Soon to Be in Sete!

"7-11 Twins", Jersey Shore, Summer 2009.


I am sitting in the Contact Press office in Paris. My laptop is not finding a connection in Cathy Remy's apartment near the Eiffel Tower.

So, finally, I can share the good news.

I have been invited by the organization Ce Ta Voir to participate in a month long residence in the south of France in the port town of Sete.

I am the first woman chosen for the residency and to make a book in a months time. BTW, the first was the glamorous and my favorite, Anders Petersen. So, I feel honored to be a part of it.

In the spring of 2010, I will return to Sete where they will show my work at the Festival called Images Singulaires, along with other documentary photographers works. Yes, it is a doc festival, not from Arles and less far from Perpignan.

My work would have never fallen into the hands of one of the organizers, Gilles Favier from Agence Vu, had it not been for the curator, Nathalie Belayche who organizes "Food for Your Eyes" in Paris. Last year, she brought my work to show to Gilles at the Perpignan festival and I became a part of a pool of selected photographers for the residency.

And I got it.

I should have brought this up earlier but there was much going on and I needed to apply my french to english translation skills of the information on their website.

Yes, I am very thrilled and excited. Throughout the month, I will be in contact and showing snapshots from my time there.

Here are some pictures that I took before I left. As Miss New Jersey--I write that with pride-- I take photographs every couple of months to go up on the 50 States site. These should be up shortly.

"Slurpie Teens", Summer 2009, Jersey Shore.



"Josh in Front of Trailer Home", Passaic, New Jersey, Summer 2009.