Frédérique Lagny’s photographic work addresses the human figure in a most resolute way, questioning the fundamental elements in regard to photography of the body. Characterized by certain aspects of anthropological critique defined as a tool (as per the meaning imbued by Mongo Beti), the work attempts to develop, in its practice as in its diffusion, a political intention.

Biography

Frédérique Lagny lives and works in France (Marseille) and West Africa (Burkina Faso). Having originally studied Painting at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she later obtained a license from the UFR of Cinema and Audiovisual studies at the University of Paris III-Sorbonne. She won the prize for Painting from the City of Vitry-sur-Seine in 1987, and from the Fondation des Beaux-Arts in 1988. Various private and public art collectors - in particular the City of Paris - acquired these paintings. Since 1997 she has directed her artistic practice solely toward photography, extended to film with Vanishing Point.

In 2004, with the project Odeceixe, Lagny installed her photos in the public space of a central Brussels train station. Over and above capturing the essence of leisure and departure, Odeceixe – Odysséa – revealing a beach landscape in Portugal invaded by the fog and thereby having become a theatre of perambulating bodies, questions the issue of time and being.

In 2005, the Next to Nothing project extended this sense of intrusion of the intimate in a public space, by providing an opportunity to glimpse the body and enable the constitution of its memory. It comprises of the human figure in the form of a sand sculpture, appearing to be an idol whom one temporarily restores with a glance. The ravens testify to this presence. Six photographs in black and white were displayed on administrative info panels positioned by the City of Brussels, punctuated by a seventh image intended exclusively for public advertising. Next to Nothing was co-produced by the City of Brussels and Maiis Festival.

Images © Frédérique Lagny / adagp.
Translation : Jodie Hruby, Jonathan Lane.
Web design : Frédérique Lagny, developped by Fabien Lagny.
Hosted by Usine-productions.
Special thanks to Arnaud Carette, Michèle Lagny, Dominique Poulain, Jean Cristofol, Tarquin Billiet, Cyrille C. de Laleu and everyone who has supported me in my projects.

Recent and prospective projects

In 2006 Frédérique Lagny took take part in hosting visual arts workshops for children in Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Thereupon she was embarking on a photographic project that would continue until now.

Yours Truly, the first part of a trilogy is composed of a series of 35 portraits of Burkinabè children. Co-produced by the Choreographic Centre in Charleroi-danses, Belgium, it was presented in Brussels in 2007. The installation was devised to enable the viewer to behold the images of the children face to face. Suspended back-to-back in the former warehouse space of a public industrial building, the images are dimly lit. A projection of these photographs took place in Bobo Dioulasso in the selfsame districts where the children were photographed in January 2009. This event enabled me to show a documentary work in stills, Sogo faga yörö photographs taken at the slaughter-houses.

The second part, Vanishing Point - relates to the phenomenon of exclusion of certain women in the current context of urban and economic development in West African cities. Vanishing Point was shot in 2009 in Ouagadougou; the project is co-produced by the CCF in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and the Charleroi-danses Centre of Choreography in Belgium, and benefits from a residency in sound design in the CECN2 programme ‘transfrontalier d'art numérique’ in Maubeuge, France.

She expands this reflection with À qui appartiennent les pigeons ? (work in progress: 2011-2012) - a poetic essay in film inspired by a Mongo Beti's novel L'histoire du fou -, and focus on criteria which govern the construction of a cultural identity when already influenced by colonialism and the difficulties of post-colonial development.