Stéphane Lavoué – Les Mois Noirs
“I encountered the land of the Bigouden only a few days after meeting my partner, Catherine.
I was in my twenties, we had just decided to spend our life together and I had already had to go to Malaysia for several months. To seal our very young relationship, she decided to submit me to the “bigouden test”, an initiation ceremony of a few days, at her grandparents’ in Kérity.
From the first moment, I was literally bewitched. The smile of her grandmother welcoming us on the sidewalk, the blinding white light on the front of the house, the tray of steamed langoustines on the living room table … then the strolls on the shore, the silhouette of the lighthouse, the stories of sailors lost at sea
Everything, my retina printed everything.
Twenty years later, here we are again at Kérity. With our two daughters.
After more than a decade of life in Paris, we are yearning for profound changes. We have considered everything: Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Montreal.
Finally, it was at Cap Caval, the southern tip of Finistère, that we decided to settle.
In Kerity, in the house of Catherine’s grandparents.
Quickly, this small familiar territory provoked the long-awaited Copernican revolution. The end of Parisian commissions has enabled me to practice a more personal photography and our new environment becomes my main source of inspiration. It’s about trying to express the emotions I can feel living here on the edge of the world.
I grope around, experiment with several photographic forms to escape the worn-out iconography of the seashores, boats and fishing nets. Luckily, I’m too sick at sea to photograph on board! So I stay at the quay and push the door of the hangars: auctions, shipyards, marine forges, canneries, coolers … I discover the “On land ” sector fed by the successive tides of trawlers, trolling boats and netters. Community. Manual work. Painfulness. The economic and social architecture of the territory.
And there are young people . Those who have not left “the country” but cling to it, viscerally. They intrigue me, I photograph them: the young self-employed fisherman, queen of the embroiderers, miller, fish-scaler, surfer … why do they stay when the majority leave? They guide me on new paths and help me complete my “Bigoudene” mind map.
That’s how Les Mois Noirs was born, a fictional photographic story, an intimate representation of the territory in which my “bigoudène” and I had decided to live.”
– Stéphane Lavoué
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