Actrices. Fotografie di Kate Barry

Piazza Cavour | 23 November – 4 December 2016

Curated by Aline Arlettaz

CAMERA and the Alliance Française in Turin, during the Torino Film Festival, inaugurate Actrices. Fotografie di Kate Barry (Actrices. Photographs by Kate Barry).

“Discreet, generous, caring, delicate, subtle, sweet, humble, sensitive, with an incredible, strange, melancholy laugh”: this is how curator Aline Arlettaz describes Kate Barry, presenting the exhibition Actrices which features 25 portraits of French actresses shot by the artist, daughter of Jane Birkin and composer John Barry.

Born in London in 1967, daughter of John Barry and Jane Birkin, Kate Barry was first a designer. It was in 1996 that she began her career as a photographer. She also created numerous album covers and worked in the advertising of famous brands.
Her first exhibition as a photographer was held at the Bunkamura Gallery in Tokyo in 2000. Many others followed in France, Italy and Japan. She also wrote and made a documentary film about the writer Philippe Djian and published a photo book with texts by writer Jean Rolin, Dinard, essai d’autobiographie immobilière.
She held many exhibitions in France, Italy and Japan. Kate Barry died in December 2013. The exhibition, dedicated to her memory, is a tribute to her work.
Kate Barry preferred “the shadow of posing to the light of projectors”. Committed to social and humanitarian causes, sensitive to the plights of the weakest, whether injured animals or the homeless on the streets, Kate Barry “loved wrinkles, imperfections, scars”, managing to capture “what is most sensitive and personal” in each of her models. Never before had actresses been photographed in this way. “Without artificiality, letting oneself go to indefinite states of mind, abandoning oneself (…) The portrait of Laetitia Casta reminds us of the film Bellissima by Visconti, the one of Lou Doillon of the drawing entitled Sitting woman with legs drawn up by Egon Schiele, and the photographs by Géraldine Pailhas and Charlotte Gainsbourg of an American film from the fifties”. Her untimely and tragic death in 2013 caught everyone off guard, including Arlettaz: “I’ve saved your last text message from 10 December, so that our conversation is not interrupted.”

The portraits are mainly of French actresses, some of whom have strong ties to Italy, such as Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Adjani. Others are Italian, such as Monica Bellucci or Sofia Coppola. These portraits capture their great beauty with sobriety. Thanks to the artist’s talent, the actresses allowed themselves to let go in a sort of uncommon abandonment. The result was certain portraits that are devoid of artificiality, and that are sober and powerful.

CAMERA wishes in particular to thank Jane Birkin and l’Agence Renate Gallois Montbrun & Guillaume Fabiani for their involvement in the project.

Under the supervision of journalist and photographer Aline Arlettaz, the exhibition is produced by the Institut Français, in partnership with Roman de Kermadec, the artist’s son.

CAMERA welcomes the exhibition thanks to the support of Yves Rocher Italia, the main sponsor of the initiative.