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Amanda Sthers - Le lendemain, tout a changé

3rd july – 24th september 2023


 

« About 15 years ago I bought an antique photograph of a young woman at a flea market. This portrait, which may have once been cherished by a man, lay abandoned in a box near some broken dolls, anonymous, without destiny. Back home, I invented one through a letter addressed to her. From flea markets, to garage sales, over the years I have collected children, families, couples who were getting married, others who had trouble pretending in front of the camera.

I took the weak clues, the dates on the back of the photos, sometimes first names, the places and I invented stories for these people in what I imagined to be their language. Sometimes I associated them with objects or other photographs... Instead of being nameless ghosts in the dust, they are now the heroes of a shattering moment of life which becomes a reality as soon as others lay their eyes on them.

Everything in my life as an artist has led me to this special creation, it combines empathy, imagination, observation, aesthetics, the ability to sketch a story in a few sentences.

These works were intended for the walls of my house but I always needed more and I could not stop to invent this imaginary family tree.

At the time of the multiplication of virtual shots, the importance of these often solemn photos appears to us with even more evidence. At the time, we had four portraits which were to express a life: a baptism, a portrait, a wedding picture, a family photo.

I met Katy Wellesley Wesley who first allowed me to think that I had created works of art that had to be exhibited, brought to life, then Laura Serani who is the curator of the exhibition that will put them in the spotlight and plunged into my album with the eyes of a child and the gaze of a sage. It is strange for me to have created unique works and to know that they will go to sleep with other people, continue their destinies without me.

Is it a coincidence that I expose them the year my second son will also leave the nest?

Welcome to a part of who I am. I am happy to introduce you to some of my imaginary friends and family. »

 

Text : courtesy Amanda Sthers

Amanda-Sthers-600.jpg

 © Amanda Sthers, Courtesy : Galerie Huit Arles        

This exhibition was curated by Laura Serani, author and curator of exhibitions and photography and audiovisual projects. She collaborates with leading institutions and publishers in Europe and elsewhere. Since 2019 she has directed the festival Planches Contact in Deauville.

About the Artist

 © sandrinegomezphotography

Amanda Sthers was born in Paris and now lives in Los Angeles. She has written sixteen novels, translated in more than twenty languages and was honored with the prestigious title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French President. Her latest book THE SUSPENDED COFFEE is about to become an international TV series. For the screen, Amanda has written and directed four movies. Working with actors such as Rosanna Arquette, James Caan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Tom Hollander, Harvey Keitel and Toni Colette. Her last movie PROMISES starring Pierfrancesco Favino, Jean Reno and Kelly Reilly premiered at the Rome Film Festival and is about to be launched on the screens worldwide.

She is also producer and CEO of IDEA(L), a company creating opportunities for new voices and female filmmakers, as well as packaging an array of projects across film and TV hoping to serve as a bridge for emerging talents to opportunities around the globe. Her latest production, BONNIE, celebrates one of the most talented casting directors, premiered in the official selection of the 2022 Venice Film Festival, and the American film festival of Deauville. MAFIA MAMMA, based on her original idea, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Toni Colette and Monica Belluci is now in postproduction and was sold worldwide.

As a playwright, Sthers has written nine plays which received critical acclaim all over France and Europe including her 2006 OLD BLONDE JEW which has become a mainstay of the curriculum at Harvard University’s theatre courses taught by professor Guila Clara Kessous with whom she collaborates on different projects.

“The next day everything changed” is her first foray into the world of contemporary art.

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