Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present "Photos-Souvenirs" by French Moroccan photographer Carolle Bénitah. The exhibition will highlight mixed media pieces from Bénitah’s "Enfance" and "Adolescence" Photos-Souvenirs series. An artist’s talk will be held on Monday, April 7, 7-8pm.
Carolle Bénitah, who worked for ten years as a fashion designer before turning to photography in 2001, incorporates the art of sewing and beading into her photographs. Her current series, Photos-Souvenirs, explores the memories of her Moroccan childhood by reworking and threading old family snapshots. In what the artist describes as “excavations,” photos are unearthed from albums and shoeboxes, classified, scanned, transposed onto new paper, and finally hand beaded and embroidered by the artist. This final step, accomplished with red, black, or gold thread and wire and glass beads—chosen for their shine and delicacy—is a revelatory act for the artist.
“There is nothing subversive about embroidering, but I corrupt it through my intentions,” writes Carolle Bénitah. “I use its falsely decorative artifices to reinterpret my history and to denounce its failings.” She continues, “Each photograph lifts the veil from the past. It is a story of revelation. It is work related to emotions.” Through this deeply personal reexamination of family ties and childhood memory, which according to the artist can be likened to archaeological work of the soul, Bénitah seeks to discover more of her identity and uncover a history of family secrets.
The internationally acclaimed work of Carolle Bénitah is part of notable public and private art collections, such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), Sunnhordland Museum (Bergen, Norway), Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo (Oaxaca, Mexico), and the collections of Marin Karmitz (Paris, France), Sir Mark Fhers Haukhol (Houston), Jacques and Galila Hollander (Brussels, Belgium), and Jan de Bont (Los Angeles). Her work has been published in magazines such as Leica World, Shots Magazine, Photos Nouvelles, Spot, Center for Photography Houston, Foto Noviny, and Lens Culture, among others. Carolle Bénitah was born in Casablanca (Morocco) and graduated from the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (Paris). Her Photos-Souvenirs series has also been selected to exhibit in FotoFest’s 2014 Discoveries of the Meeting Place showcase of past Biennial portfolio reviews. Carolle Bénitah is currently working on the series’ third and final installment, "Adulte."