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Summer Holidays

The idea of fabricating fictions, the idea of a possible equation between photography and the dummies, struck me quite out of the blue. Childhoods made of flesh and plaster, the many lights of the Luberon, the nostalgia and actuality of desires, crystallised together through the magical operation of the photographic record. The power to fix, eternalise in light, attest to the world the perfection of an instant.

The summer of ’76 got off to a flying start. I could feel my strength and my youth burst open. I filled the Mehari (my cheap Citroen open-top car) with dummies and I was all over the drives, the dormitory in my parents’ children home, the churchyard in Lioux, the swimming-pool in Saint-Saturnin, the beaches of Saintes-Maries de la Mer in the Camargue. I would hurriedly set up the dummies , and after the shot, pack up and set off again. As they invested those places that bore the mark of my childhood I imagined  that those little men freed from their shop-windows, released unknown forces, brought to light sublime,  masterful evidence .

Last portrait
The ceremonious Japanese delegation arrived. Two hours of careful and dazzled examination, of exclamations, of “hi” and “han”; in the chimney of the cabanon, I cooked a truffle omelette and the deal was struck! A few weeks later, in the summer 1990, the hundred mannequins flew from Marseille-Marignane airport to Kyoto in a beautiful container where I had laid them.
Prior to that, I made them parade 4 by 4 in front of the rock by the cabanon. This made the “Last portrait”.

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