“Bibi” — Jacques Henri Lartigue

I found the tragic love story between Jacques Lartigue and Bibi very intriguing. It starts out with the lives of Jacques and Bibi as newlyweds and slowly unveils Jacques infidelity and Bibi’s displacement within their relationship. This exhibit was unlike any of the others I’d seen because it was a fluid, singular story and a very intimate one at that. I enjoyed that this exhibition had a clear beginning, middle and end versus a display of various works over a time period. The continuity and vulnerability of this exhibition made it easy to connect with as a viewer.

            From a technical standpoint, I loved that the photos were black and white. Although this was the only option during this time, I feel that the raw black and white images helped reveal the expressions and emotions portrayed in the images. It was easy to see Bibi slowly fade into the background as the photo story moved along.

            My favorite photo was the very last one displayed largely on a grey wall all to itself. It was a hazy photo of Bibi swimming alone in a large body of water. A quote from Lartigue was written above wising Bibi the best. This photo is my favorite because it shows the harsh reality of this love story. It’s almost as if Bibi was swimming away from Jacques and the grain in the photo plus the massive body of water show the unsettling certainty and uncertainty of love. The possibilities are endless in that last photo, but struggle is inevitable. 

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