On the occasion of the «Elles x Paris Photo» tour, seventy-seven women photographers are in the spotlight. Focus on three of them.

Immortality, ecology, identity… Their view of our times shakes our preconceived ideas and established certainties. The French Stéphanie Solinas makes a flight over San Francisco a contemplative meditation on immortality, the Chinese Chen Xiaoyi magnifies the landscape to better alert on climate change, Silvia Rosi questions her dual identity, togolese and Italian.  

The approach of these three artists, presented from November 10 to 13, at the Grand Palais Éphémère, on the occasion of the «Elles x Paris Photo» course, designed by the Kering Group in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, which focuses on seventy-seven women photographers, embodies the vitality – and originality – of photographic creation in its own right.

Stéphanie Solinas, immortality between New Age and High Tech

Stéphanie Solinas, Le soleil ni la mort, Twilight 4, 2022 Courtesy Stéphanie Solinas  delpire&co.jpg

“The sun and death cannot be stared at”: the famous maxim of La Rochefoucauld gives – half – its title to the surprising editorial project of Stéphanie Solinas, The Sun and Death (delpire & co), designed while she was in residence in Silicon Valley. The artist trained at the ENS Louis-Lumière, whose plural work at the crossroads of photography, installation and book never ceases to question the photographic medium, puts two singular experiences into perspective. '  One day, she found herself on a private plane over San Francisco. On one side, she saw the sun, on the other, the moon, explains Federica Chiocchetti, she wanted to document everything, which of course was impossible, you had to choose, hence this funny and beautiful book where she shares her frustration of not being able to capture the sun and the moon at the same time ».  

But the adventure does not end there. During this same residency, the artist met the founder of Alcor, a post-mortem cryogenization company, whose husband, now deceased, is precisely cryogenized, as is the CEO of Alcor. We can’t help but think of Don DeLillo’s book, Zero K, which precisely transports the reader to a cryogenic facility. The images of the flight over San Francisco are thus punctuated by the dialogue between these two interlocutors, and pose in a framework that cannot be more adapted (' we are both at the heart of global high-tech and in the cradle of the New Age »), the question of our finitude and the fantasy of immortality.  

Chen Xiaoyi, an exploration of the mountain between beauty and fragility

Chen Xiaoyi, Crystalloid Minstrel (2021) Coutesy of the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space Chengdu.jpg

Impossible not to be immediately seized by the beauty of Crystalloid: Minstrel, this mountain image signed Chen Xiaoyi, a young Chinese photographer who spent time in the United Kingdom where she studied photojournalism, winner in 2016 of the Three shadows photography award. " It is a magnificent work, an aesthetic exploration of rocks and minerals. The landscapes are sublime in the literal sense of the word », confirms Federica Chiocchetti who says that she has stopped while discovering the work of the young artist. But we should not misunderstand. If the landscapes are thus magnified under the lens of the young photographer, it is to better emphasize the threat of which they are the object.

« With his images, Chen Xiaoyi denounces the effects of climate change. It also tells us that we must be wary of images, which are capable of lying, of hiding, of showing the superficial side of things when the realities are often more complex It would be a step closer to the great project now under way. photographer Sabine Mirlesse as part of the New Worlds programme.

Silvia Rosi, migration between fiction and reality

Silvia Rosi, Self portrait as my mother, 2019, NCONTEMPORARY.jpg

It is a very symbolic image: a voting booth whose lower part, open, reveals the bottom of a silhouette and personal effects. This photograph from the series Election box (2012) sums up the political approach tinged with irony, by Silvia Rosi, an Italian photographer of Togolese origin, winner of the awards Jerwood/Photoworks and “Portrait of Britain” British Journal of Photography in 2020. “ It is a fundamental work that addresses the problem of being a woman of African origin in Italy today and having to confront unfortunately often a hostile context ” says Federica Chiocchetti.

Italy, in fact, does not recognize the law of the soil, and the children of immigrants must wait until they reach the age of majority to apply for naturalization. « Silvia Rosi’s work aims to explore her multiple roots: the relationship with her mother tongue, that with the language of colonization, which is also in one way or another her own, her status as a citizen who is partially denied her status as a citizen ", observes the curator. Encounter presented to the Centquatre, in Paris, a few months ago as part of Circulation(s), the festival of young European photography, gave the young photographer the opportunity to show another facet of her talent: she creates a fictional photo album that makes visible the traces of her parents' migration to Italy with images inspired by the mythical «studio portraits».