Sally Mann: The fragility of the compromise

The fragility of the compromise 🛶

At the opening, Sally wasn’t there. There were people speaking for her.

I wondered if being a photographer and an artist was enough to say things without having to talk about them.

Some of my artist friends think so and tell me, but as we talk, I realize that they don’t need anyone to tell them who they are and why they do it. They just need time to think about it and feel confident.

I read the praise from newspapers like liberation, slate, or videos on YouTube, etc… What I could find to better understand Sally Mann’s work Nothing surprised me.

Once again, I do not understand the politically correct, the worldly praise or the incomprehensible texts – which have no real meaning in my eyes, a little as if forests were regularly planted to hide the tree at the origin of the artist’s gaze, forests when Amazonia is burning and there are so many inequalities in this world –

What I see in Sally is an American story, a feminine sensibility as a mother and woman of a world, the one of the 20th century with its wars, its new techniques and so rooted in a distant European past of value, conflict and calm.

I deeply like the work of Dorothea Lange and I feel Sally’s work as a natural continuation of work and documentation on a world whose values were gradually disappearing.

In an exhibition of this magnitude, I would like to see more social context and cultural and historical comparisons.

I believe there are many cultural differences and beliefs between our European culture and American culture. To better understand Sally and the majority of American artists, I need more material on their imagination.

One day, I will talk to you about cartels in museums too in recent years, which I would like to change so much.

Sally’s children and then her magnificent landscapes are, for me, those of a nation, an idealized America as in the series of my childhood. As in all competitions that are part of the American imagination on beauty, the relationship to the natural environment and the criteria for social success. When she takes these pictures, it’s also the time of Kramee versus Kramer, do you know? The first film that marked his time by talking about the divorce between two people. The years of many of these photos are the years of profound changes that have created, I think, the complex, cold and burning, superficial and dense world of today but also so rich in dialogue thanks to the Internet.

I understand that Sally avoids social events, I avoid them as much as possible, but nothing can replace the voice of an artist for me.

Here, I really liked the shadow of this picture, it looks like a memory.

I hope that the Parisians who follow me on social networks have gone to see this beautiful exhibition 🌻 at Le Jeu de Paume 🙂


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