Photo credit : Agnès Desfosses

Photographic exhibition by Agnès Desfosses

Production : ACTA, conventioned company : Conseil départemental du Val d’Oise, Ville de Villiers-le-Bel. ACTA is subsidised by the DRAC Île-de-France through a territory convention, and by the Île-de-France Regional Council through an artistic permanence convention.

ÉTAT D’ÊTRE brings together photographs taken in 1997 and 1998 by Agnès Desfosses during the artistic workshops “Masques d’yeux” of the ACTA Company with children of 2 schools in 2 towns: CM1 children from the Jean Macé school in Villiers-le-Bel and CM1 and CM2 children from the Jean-Baptiste Clément school in Blanc-Mesnil (Seine-Saint-Denis) participating in “IMAGES CÔTÉ COUR” as part of the Festival Enfantillage en Seine-Saint-Denis organised by the Théâtre Gérard Philippe, the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Saint Denis in partnership with the Inspection de l’Éducation Nationale and the Association Images Buissonnières.

Giving to “BE” by creating a link with the expression of oneself and that of another, questions the capacity of expression of each one. Exhibiting these photographs, taken 20 years ago during artistic workshops, allows them to be seen beyond the places where they were taken: the northern and eastern suburbs of Paris.

Each child chooses the look of the “eye masks” that attract them. They are placed on a table in front of each of them. No one may touch or take them yet. It is sacred. Respect. The children look into the eyes of the eye masks. In silence they soak up the emotion that emanates from it, its energy or relaxation, or its anger… Face and body receive this gaze. The children put the gaze of the Other in front of their eyes and become quite different: a continuity is then created between the eyes of another and their own face… With my camera, I pick up fragments of emotion.

Agnès Desfosses

ÉTAT D’ÊTRE : a desire for light and clarity around these children’s portraits. An invitation for a step-by-step stroll through their inventiveness. A silk cocoon to share an intimate moment with them. A light and modular space designed to travel.

Patricia Lacoulonche

ÉTAT D’ÊTRE is a striking testimony, rich in topicality, that Agnès invites us to share through her artistic expression as close as possible to her sensitivity and her openness to others in order to solicit our imagination.

Laurent Dupont