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Sarah Girard at TH13

Rémanence: a photographer's view of the analyst's couch

Sarah Girard's photographs glimpse the interiors of psychoanalysts' consulting rooms. Minimalist details that reveal so much more: a curtain, a desk, "that" couch. Intimist portraits of spaces inhabited by the lives recounted there, day after day…

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Sarah Girard at TH13
© Sarah Girard

In psychology, "remanence" describes a sensation that persists after its initial stimulus. Sarah Girard's photographs of the old-fashioned interiors of psychoanalysts' consulting rooms record the traces of this remanence, as experienced by their patients. Exhibition curator Paul Cottin explains: "the quiet of the consulting room contrasts with the constant background noise and bustle of contemporary society."

In the tradition of photographs by the 19th-century professor Jean-Martin Charcot, showing his patients in the grip of hysteria, Sarah Girard's pictures hint at the invisible world beyond the superficial "truth" (the ancient Greek concept of aletheia) of surface reality.

How can a mechanical recording make apparent that which springs from the depths of our beings? The folds of fabric, light, a rippling curtain: in the psychoanalyst's consulting room, harmless aspects of everyday life become the concrete foundations for the evolving work of the mind. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès salutes the understated, deeply sensitive photographs and striking maturity of this young Swiss artist, born in 1978.

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