« I’ve been taking photographs since I was 15. In 10 years, my vocation for photography hasn’t stopped being an obsession either through practice or through studies: I have to work in this field. How to formulate the disturbing strangeness of the object in view; this is what I base my optical shot of the world on. »

« My studies are finished. Now I need to experiment and create works based on an urgent link to detail, because “God lives in the details”. Pascal’s thought represents, as you prefer, the outline or the backbone, even the problematics for a visual indiscretion on which I wish to base my work. As for the moral difficulties, I do want to trust my work to prove their hold over my view. »

« A vocation is by its nature inexpressible. No-one knows why one person decided to become a doctor/pilot and another a photographer. My vocation for photography resulted from being unable to use words as well as a yearning to be able to show. Secret particles, buried details, unexpected osmosis, the picture of the rim of an ear that can speak about a person, those are my subjects… »

« I’d like a photograph able to show the interstices, the minute moments when the world around me becomes a true mystery. From an early age, through my eyes, my life context always looked to me as if it was criss-crossed by huge uncertainties. My vocation is to turn them into permanent certainties: to notice them, to grab them and to change them into pictures. »

« After studying for three years at the Ecole Nationale de la Photographie in Arles, suddenly I’m let free, I’m sole judge of my choices, light, framing, etc… That’s how I started working with colours. I hope my work tells a story, forms a point of view, uses speed. My immediate plan is to build a series of pictures in contrast to the so-called normal vision of reality. »

Anne Pery, notes, 2000-2003



An approach to Anne Pery's position about photography.

What we see here is obviously not what we believe we see or rather expect to see. There is no doubt that in the works of the French photographer Anne Pery, we can recognise some fragments of various parts of the human body ; yet seen from a distance , we could just as well picture some strange landscapes or unidentifiable facades. An overhanging view does not lead to a proper insight. Such a radical focus on a fragment of reality confronts the viewer with the outer circle of this reality, which blurs what we think we see beyond recognition. Any attempt to locate, to name, is doomed to failure. Overcome by an obscure doubt, the viewer wonders whether what is seen really represents what it is. The first impression denies the reliability of what a picture reflects. The space of the image is filled-even overfilled- with structures, the excessively strong grey shades swell up, which all of a sudden are revealed to be a close up on bulging tissues, on skin furrowed like a field, on bony domes and so on. The error of judgement induces one to see structures in there,and contradicts with irony Frank Stella's phrase «  What you see is what you see ! », for it is tempting to recognise some private parts in these details of the human body, surging from an extreme blow-up. Almost already excited, we are enticed to see an erotic message in these reproductions, which they do not contain. It is only the people's affect that makes a link with eroticism . The very object of the picture hides the exact place of its origin. After a long examination, our sense of eyesight surrenders. The only thing the viewer knows is that his efforts to put a name on these skin sequences will be misleading. The absurd urge to recognise, to dissect, to see right through, reveals our obsession, instilled by education, to find-or even invent- a box for every item.
Anne Pery breaks with the intention to confirm the snapshot into its fleeting concession to what we live through or perceive. This body we believe to know, in which skin we live and reside, and whose surface preserves us from «  being beside ourselves », from abandonning ourselves, is « cut up », once zoomed, into abstruse, distorted textures. Qualifiers such as sexy or appealing are as irrelevant here as masculine or feminine. These sinkings, hollows, creases, cracks and surfaces seem to have already left the place of their assignment. They expose themselves, removed from the human context. The diagrams for interpretation do not work any more. The essence of sex vanishes into a gloomy, dull, almost shapeless materiality which does not correspond to any ideal any more. The constitutional part of our identity is reduced to a near trompe-l'oeil. The emotional appeal, the sensual aura of the body sphere remain out of focus. And the more the viewer is close to the picture, the more uncomfortable he becomes, discovering something no longer human. What the surface of the human being suggests is that it is as little meaningful and as deceptive as humanity, constricted and constrained in its self-control, becoming unable of unveiling, of passion and eroticism, and which opposes to «  the claiming of one's body against power » quoting Michel Foucault, the stereotyped concepts of human sexuality.

Susanna Habraschka, 2/ 21/ 04
Traduction: Françoise Delecroix