The new book from French photographer Estelle Hanania gathers over ten years of collaboration and archives revolving around the artistic universe of Gisèle Vienne.
A subjective monography on the choreographer's work, the present book makes for one of Estelle Hanania's densest cluster of images to date, arraying a collection of photographs that spans from 2008 to 2019.
For Estelle Hanania, whose work has previously been featured twice by Shelter Press, the human body has proven to be a limitless source of inspiration. Her ability at capturing the essence of Gisèle Vienne's vision, through her acute visual understanding of bodies and objects, as well as her knack for building natural bridges between Gisèle's performances and the whole of her photographic endeavour, make this new publication a much essential milestone in Estelle's career.
Shaking up the foundations of the classic live-performance book as we know it, It's Alive! offers a singular take on the work of Gisèle Vienne, inviting the reader to look from beyond the stage's borders, taking a step back and shifting perspectives, allowing to envision the whole of Vienne's body of work under a fresh new light; the heart of the book deploying in truly free and sensible fashion, while eschewing the chronological, and/or thematic approach usually associated with such efforts.
An ambitious photographic project in full resonnance with Shelter Press' aspirations, it is with particular emotion that we welcome this title, reference SP100, to the fold—a number bound to establish as a landmark issuing in our catalogue.
Customs and traditions: the originality of the photographic work of Estelle Hanania (born 1980, lives and works in Paris) appears in the fact that it focuses on the european vernacular rites in a very unique way. Unlike the anthropologist or pure documentarist, she doesn't try neither to understand nor to decode the mystery of those rites, letting them pass trough her camera. A procession of giants in a field, a magician in a parking lot, a wild cave... The shadows of a singular identity are standing as a non-exotic setting yet revealing themselves as an hallucination.
Graduated from Les Beaux Arts de Paris, the 2006 award-winning photographer in Hyeres Festival Estelle Hanania is not afraid by the beauty, the pure aesthetics of the clothes or the masks. She knows how to keep a human distance to the subject, in a natural light, in silence. Her photographs are portraits and landscapes of men becoming animals or plants, as many chimerical figures embodied in our absurd contemporary world. In the background appears a car, a road, a parking lot: such as banal infrastructures and unspectacular places. Extraordinary rituals required in an ordinary community, a present in syncope, nested in the reality as a strange lichen growing on a concrete wall.
Gisèle Vienne (born 1976 in Charleville-Mézières, France, lives and works in Paris) is a franco-austrian choreographer, director and visual artist. After graduating in Philosophy, she studied at the puppeteering school Ecole Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette. She works regularly with, among other, the writer Dennis Cooper, the musicians Peter Rehberg and Stephen O'Malley, and the light designer Patrick Riou.
She directs numerous performances with her company founded in 1999. Since 2005, she has been frequently exhibiting her photographs and installations.