Through 56 photos, 4 films and 26 video clips, Maia Flore lets us “travel with the sun”. From Corsica to the beaches of northern France, the artist staged her character on the coast along which she travelled between May and October 2016.
The approach used by photographer Maia Flore involves a search for overlaps between the real world and her imagination, a universe created entirely by her in the form of moving and entrancing accounts that are at times strange and even surrealistic.
Maia Flore travelled the French coast from the easternmost point all the way to the West. Her journey-performance led her to 28 places which all answer, in their own specific way, the question of how to get away. We look at the sea with emotion because it's boundless. The artist similarly twists, changes or heightens reality – maybe a way of saying that she will not conform to its tepid rules? She leaps mightily, climbs boulders, lets go, rushes down dunes, dives into creeks, rises before dawn and goes to bed long after sunset.
Her body is her primary tool as she strives to tame the natural elements: either she disappears into the scenery, letting its colors shine, or she bravely steps forward, to earn as it were her place on the picture. Far from the studios and their predictable light and even ground, the coast is a show in and of itself: mountains edge into the sea, black sand contrasts with white beaches, surfers head into the ocean in a glorious haze of mist, winds rage on, and waves lap at cities. In order to freeze all of it into a frame, you first have to surrender to its rhythms. The sun rises later each day, tides come in and out, sand creeps into the smallest folds, and the landscapes one encounters at the end of the journey have nothing in common with those at the start.
Thanks to deftly balanced recklessness and restraint, Maia Flore knows how to turn a beach into a bed, and the sun into a partner. Her way of considering the French coastline is quite compelling – as though she were humming “everything is possible” in your ear.
Especially for families: the “Petit carnet de bord de mer” (Seaside notebook) available for download.
Entertaining and richly illustrated, it will serve as your children’s guide to Maia Flore’s poetic universe. All the while having fun, they will go through the exhibition and discover France’s coastline.
Download and information
© Judith Amsallem /translation : James Montrose