Suzanne Lafont

Born in 1949 in Nîmes (FR)
Lives and works in Saint-Ouen (FR)

Portrait n°12

Black and white photograph, gelatin-silver print
108 x 86 cm
Year of Purchase: 1990

Suzanne Lafont’s art, which is uncommon in contemporary art research, revels in literature, philosophy, and religious iconography. Her pictures, which are worked out within the experimental world of the studio, are the traces of a cognitive kind of project which uses the photograph as a tool, an image state without any documentary value.
Suzanne Lafont asserts that the image has an independent identity, which is reflected by the world and involves a perception of the visible. To this end, she uses the enclosure of the picture, its flat space, and its frame; her works are static, immense and naturalistic, emerging from the interior nature of the picture, and its strangeness. As signs, her photographs have the quality of a quotation, they incorporate within the visible an ambivalent and paradoxical reflexive form. The quotation remains invariably specific like an inserted fragment, but as an original dynamic element, it creates a novel relation between two similar propositions with differing contents.
The artist talks about ‘showing things on the basis of their strict identity’, which involves isolating them, and reducing the interferences outside the subject as much as possible. In the narratives, scenes, landscapes, architectures, and portraits, the figures evolve in the midst of an irreal setting in a kind of torpor, and absence. They invariably conjure up an elsewhere as if they bore within them another measurement of time, or rather as if they were making time happen. Portrait n°11 and Portrait n°12 picture the face caressed by light, and reveal the length of the gaze on the threshold of the visible traces of movement. The split second is prolonged in time through the fixedness, and thus establishes a continuity between the real and imaginary images. In the portraits, the presence of the face, with the light coming from it, is a thought about immanence which makes reference to the iconography of the Annunciation. Suzanne Lafont creates images which experiment with the spirit of a relationship.

Maďté Vissault