Bibi

Marisol Dorantes

Exhibition name: Bibi

Location:Église des trinitaires

Bibi is an exhibition that develops a heartbreaking love story between the photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue and his wife Bibi. Everything from the framing to the images themselves create the drama of their affair and the compilation of images become a movie.

The show begins with images that illustrate Lartigue’s superficial attraction to Bibi and progresses around the wall of a large open cathedral. The framing of the pictures mimic a family album because the subjects are mostly family and friends. The red bar that accentuates the bottom of the exhibition resembles a timeline. The photographs themselves evolve and change format throughout the exhibit in a way that physically demonstrates the progression of their relationship.

Lartigue’s images are beautifully aware of human movement as a general trademark of his work but as the timeline progresses the pictures feel more intimate and the moods change. The romance between Lartigue and Bibi goes from deep love to the total loss of affection. Latrigue began falling out of love when the couple was faced with the death of their second child and he pursued many of his wives friends afterwards. This great change in his life was especially obvious as Bibi starts fading out of his photographs, even when she is in the frame. The less connected the couple become the more smaller the format becomes, to the point where binoculars are set up so that the images are visible. The feeling of the exhibition becomes very voyeuristic. The finality of their relationship is experienced when Jacques Henri Lartigue is no longer taking pictures of someone he has a life with but rather someone that seems like a stranger.

Inside Église des trinitaires, Bibi was exhibited throughout the majority of the wall

The vast space of the church created an atmosphere of fragility around the thin line that was the exhibit

An abstractly framed shot of Bibi at the beach

The beautiful movement and shape created by bodies in action was a common concept in the exhibit

Inside a small room towards the end of the exhibit, the family album idea became much more literal

Photographs seen through binoculars

This exhibition was a wonderful example of how even the most subtle parts of a composition are dire to molding tone and feeling into a body of work.  The red bar underneath the frames explained the context of the pictures. It also worked as a visual aid to simulate a timeline.  

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