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Alessandra Sanguinetti – the winner of Immersion #2 – presents selected photographs from her journey across France. The book and exhibition Le Gendarme sur la Colline tell the story of an itinerant residency: an intuitive journey and its encounters, along a haphazard route.
Alessandra Sanguinetti’s French ‘immersion’ began on the edge of a refugee camp in Calais, where she encountered the Policeman on the Hill, the figure who became the project’s title in the style of a children’s story. For the locals, he represents security. For the camp-dwellers, he is a source of fear.
This feeling of anxiety haunted the photographer’s journey through France, though it is the poetry and simplicity of everyday life that shine through in the sensitive images presented at New York’s Aperture Gallery.
After Eden – chronicling French photographer Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques’s residency in North Carolina – Sanguinetti’s book and exhibition are the fruit of the American photographer’s experience of France. As the second winner of Immersion, a Franco-American photographic commission, Alessandra Sanguinetti devised an itinerant residency, beginning with Calais and the Normandy coast before heading south by bus, train and car, through countryside and villages, to the Mediterranean coast, and finally north once more, to Paris.
Sanguinetti allowed random, instinctive choices to shape her itinerary and its brief encounters: ‘small revelations, slight unveilings’ that convey a pervasive sense of mystery. Each portrait is the product of a relationship, however fleeting, between the photographer and her protagonists: jockeys, children and actors nourish her avowedly personal view, through an ‘outsider’s eye’.
The exhibition Le Gendarme sur la Colline is presented by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and our alliance partner, the Aperture Gallery, New York.
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