Don’t you dare to step into my dreams unless you have been invited to.
Now you know.
During my last week-end in September at the Photography Festival in Arles, I realised ironically that I didn’t have any decent tracks - apart from my IPhone snapshots - of that exhibition “Les Inachevés - Lee McQueen.” So I took my camera on the day of closure, the 23rd of September, and spent some quiet moments there ; in a last & final observation, I tried & captured what I saw. What hopefully the visitors saw.
Voilà: 13 years of love, art, work, and 20 years of thoughts, feelings, fierce experience, grief & joy wrapped up in a 1mn version for Instagram & websites...
Merci : Sam Stourdzé, curator. Myriam Blundell, at ART CINEMA, curator & producer. Collection Bachelot, Olivier Massart & Patrizia Pilotti for their precious support.
Transmission in on its way : stay tuned. China first, and then… To be continued.
I perfectly remember the observation : Aurélie Dupont, rehearsing in New York, in Marta Graham studio. Privilege. We spent hours together in that studio, otherwise we've been walking in the snow : after a terrible snow storm, NYC was immaculate. It was in January 2016, and I never forgot the privilege of photographing Aurélie in Marta Graham studio. Through the window, we could see the skyline and the river.
The privilege was new and familiar when I photographed again Aurélie last Saturday, rehearsing & performing another solo after Marta Graham.
Apparition, indeed. Or Art Vivant. What I love: in and out of time, ultimately present in a fleeting moment.
Aurélie Dupont, Principal dancer & Director of Paris Opera Ballet : a true artist, one of a kind.
It is a great feeling to be understood. For the in-depth conversation & review (on page 13 !) in LE MONDE French newspaper, thank you very much Ms Claire Guillot.
As for Lee McQueen, it is a great relief to see him quoted in this "culture" page. At last...
"Pick your battles" is the best advice I ever received. So, it was worth it.
All is well.
Don't ask me how, but I survived.
Probably with a little help from my friends... Thank you all for coming and supporting, it felt good.
And since it seemed right to write a final statement, this is it :
Where should I start ?!... Thank you so much to my wonderful team, Myriam Blundell Phillips , my producer, & Jeremy Pilain especially, without them I simply could not make it, thank you to the Rencontres d'Arles, & Sam Stourdzé, my maverick curator & Director of the Rencontres d'Arles , thank you to Patrizia Pilotti & Olivier Massart, Damien & Florence Bachelot, & my family for their essential support, thank you to Eliot McQueen & his dearest mother, to Shaun Leane & to all my friends who came to Arles and to all my friends who couldn’t make the trip but were so present - I haven’t yet replied to all your tender messages, please forgive me -, thank you Sarah Burton, Philip Treacy & Annabelle Neilson.
Last but not least, thank you to all the people I met that week, photography lovers, amateur or professional photographers, art lovers, artists, journalists, philosophers, humanists, dreamers, visitors of all sorts, all these so-called “strangers” who came spontaneously to me to express their joy and emotions after seeing “Les Inachevés- Lee McQueen”... how they all embraced the truth of the images, the radical honesty of the project, in a universal spiritual momentum, has been a mesmerizing human experience that I will not forget : the celebration I was hoping for. The homage to Lee. It’s a gift to be able to transmit , and it’s a gift to be understood.
As for you, my Dearest Lee, thank you so much... I had this very new feeling that, at last, thanks to your trust & thanks to that exhibition, the world may have the possibility to see you now as you truly were : an extraordinary artist, and a wonderful man. It’s been a privilege to know you, to watch you create, it’s been a joy to give you my best, I’ve been as far as I could to transmit what you gave me, it’s been a dream coming true to make you justice with my photographs in Arles: I believe you would have loved to be there. & let me tell you, as tough as it has been sometimes, if I had to do it all again, I would do it for you. Without compromise.
The naked truth : I love processes. More than anything else.
When it's done, it's behind.
Installing my exhibition in Arles, France, with the precious help of my Curator Sam Stourdzé - Director of the prestigious Festival "Rencontres de la Photographie"- , has been an extraordinary moment. When everything falls into place.
It's done and I can't undo it. As I walked by tonight, before catching my train to Paris, I asked myself the one and only question : Would Lee McQueen like it ? I believe this answer is "yes".
Acta est fabula.
"Les Inachevés" - Lee McQueen" will be opening on July 2nd, and will last until September 23rd 2018 - Rencontres d'Arles, France.
Delighted to see that the most prestigious Photo Festival : "Rencontres de la photographie de Arles" has chosen my image for the nights / events poster of the opening week, starting on July 2nd 2018 : LES NUITS DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE.
"Eyes wild open", with Jaime King
© Ann Ray 1998 - Lee McQueen archive