The subjects in Lise Sarfati‘s photo series ‘She’ are strangely beguiling. They draw you in and you find yourself wanting to know more about them, their lives, what they’re up to now. The series, which took over four years to shoot, follows the relationships of two sets of sisters; Christina and Gina and Christina’s daughters, Sasha and Sloane – every aspect of their everyday lives documented. Like all great photographers Sarfati is able to remain invisible, on the periphery of these women’s lives and in the process create images that are more than pretty pictures. Rather her portraits reveal a fundamental truth, a melancholy, an alienation, a darkness, something tragic that lies beneath their seemingly ordinary lives.
The images of the four women are beautiful and poignant and taken at a time in which Sasha and Sloane had just moved from the conservatism of their grandparents’ home to an alternative lifestyle in their mother’s Oakland loft. This transional period affected both of them quite differently as they searched to find their identities; Sloane often changing her appearance and enjoying the gaze of the lens while Sasha seemingly ucomfortable with the camera around her, pensive, quite, sad. As Sarfati said about them:
The sisters are isolated, they are alone, it’s the fusion of these four solitudes that creates the series and the story.
The two older sisters, Christine and Gina, are also also searching for something as they constantly change their hairstyles and jobs.
The mother, Christine, as she appears in my photographs, is threatening, terrifying, but also mysterious and fascinating. She is no longer protective. She is strong. She is independent…The women in She reflect one another until you can no longer tell them apart. The only gaze possible is the gaze of the images between themselves, I don’t particularly like mises en scènes. I prefer the search for truth.
Sarfati has been documenting the lives of people for many years and her work is definitely worth looking at in more detail
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