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LAURENCE CHELLALI

Lost love – artist book

 By making this series of photographs I wanted to tell a story drawn from the ideal of 19th Century romanticism.

Following in the footsteps of Madame de Staël, and through the reminiscences of a woman, I aim to explore the aching feeling of the incompleteness of one’s destiny, of that sorrow of the soul unique to romanticism that leads inevitably to a tragic end.

At the same time, painful as these feelings are, she cannot let go of their appeal and yearns for times past. Alfred de Musset’s verses could be her own:

The pain I suffered escaped like a dream
I can only remember its distant memory
As a light fog lifted at dawn
That vanished with the dew

(Excerpt from “October Night”)

The worship of nature is a strong component of romanticism. It can lead to contemplation of the mysteries of the soul, but also to violence, where man confronts his passions. In this photographic series there is no storm at sea but a mysterious and invisible force that enthralls like a first love.

I endeavored to enhance the story’s atmosphere by creating a precious object that feels like a romantic personal diary full of melancholy and nostalgia.

This book-object, like any intimate journal, is meant to be secret and kept in a woman’s lingerie drawer.

And so it seemed to me that it ought to be made of quintessentially feminine materials such as lace, silk and satin ribbon. The paper is soft and delicate to the touch. To maintain its intimate quality I wrapped it in a silk stole inside a satin-like box.

The silk scarf is not a coincidence, for it is the final clue of this story: a symbol of the vanished dream and perhaps a lost maidenhead. We encounter it again in the next-to-last image when the woman sees he lover for the very last time.

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The complete series is visible here : Lost Love

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May 2015

Edition of 5 and 1 artist proof

Dimensions of the book : 14,5 x 14,5 cm

14 photos de 12 x 12 cm

Paper : MOAB Entrada bright 190 g/m2

Cover : Satinated ivory paper and blue lace

Scarf : Muslin silk

Box : Legatoria artigianale del centro

Many thanks to Amandine Nabarra Piomelli and Guynemer Giguere for the english translation

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