Marcelle is a ongoing project of a book and exhibition.*
« The story takes place in Picardie, in a village called Mametz, lost somewhere in the region of the Somme, in France. In Mametz the houses are made of bricks and the backyards are well-trimmed - fields as far as your eyes can see, along with British cemeteries.
Marcelle depicts the sweet yet intrigued look I’ve gently laid on my grandmother - and on her whereabouts - for the past ten years.
This has led me to tell her story and the story of her home in Picardie.
When I started this series I was drawn by the need to elucidate her silence, to maybe finally get to know my grandmother better.
Marcelle sort of shut herself down like in a silent shell. She does not tell much, and only very little about herself . Our grandmother has been asking the same questions for the past 15 years. And like a refrain, some come back too often - How long does it take you to go back to Paris?
Marcelle dusts her house with cleaning wipes and she likes to look outside from her house.
She reads books without ever getting to the End page. Marcelle is a hoarder.
She murmurs about WW2 in her most repressed dreams and constantly whispers to an angry alter ego during the daytime.
Years and seasons have passed in Mametz. Time told its story and a project is born, along with the freezing weather and the loneliness of old age.
Marcelle seems like stuck in a timelapse where time has no effect on her, and I realized I won’t know any of her secrets.
With this portrait I am addressing the silence of an entire generation, our elders’ mysteries.
The decor itself is a place defined by the past. The region lives in the shadow of the wars that took place there, leaving permanent marks.
As my series was growing, time had stopped.
In the images, a few people passing by, for a quick coffee, before stepping out, and Marcelle reminded motionless.
This photography project represents nine years of work, between 2010 and 2019, and this is an extract of a body of work about approximately 400 photographs in a edit process.
Marcelle past away in December 2019.