Anne-Sophie Maignant

Contes sylvestres

Contes sylvestres - Image 1
Contes sylvestres - Image 2
Contes sylvestres - Image 3
Contes sylvestres - Image 4
Contes sylvestres - Image 5
Contes sylvestres - Image 6
Contes sylvestres - Image 7

A few scattered notes and rushes before editing begins

“But still! To me it seems, you tell stories!”
“But I don’t know what kind of stories. My models are not characters. They do not do anything in particular.
They occupy a space, and, sometimes, this space becomes meaningful…”

A fleeting apparition,
On my way back from Grandfresnoy, walking round a hedge, suddenly, I caught sight of the roebuck,
standing in a field, close to the wood ; but I didn’t have the time … he didn’t give me enough time.

I walk. I listen. I immerse myself…I improvise on a theme.
The book, Contes Sylvestres - a reminiscence of fairy tales or of classical literature - sets up unlikely
meetings through utopian photographs.
What brings together men and beasts in the same places? Is it desire? Is it amity? Is it fear?

I also remember a film project I had entitled – too quickly perhaps – Diane.
Who fears whom? The man like a stray or trapped stag, or the woman,
bathing, spied upon, affronted. Who is the hunter? Who is the prey?
I had decided after all not to come to a decision. I would try and capture
desires, and fears. I would try to interpret signs.

All these trees curving like bows, like the weapons of the goddess.
All these trees arching like the entrances to the temples dedicated to the goddess.
And the sun shoots its rays like blinding arrows.

It would be like finding a location.
Fragments of a body, spattered light.

She had chosen a short dress with blue, grey and green patterns and flat leather
sandals. She sits on a mossy bank; a branch arches over her head. On the
small camera screen, I don’t see the ivy, growing vertically, hiding her face.

Mid-May and already the bluebells have faded; they have shed all their petals. They are seeding, but in
the sunlight, these seeds resemble pearls, the pearls of a necklace mislaid by a swift-footed nymph.

Beings full of grace, whose gestures are strange and careful and elusive. At the lightest noise, sighs and
crackling. On the alert.

I’d asked Kimy, Tom and Kevin to imagine they were fauns; the only requirement: for them to flee –
just as an animal, caught unawares, would flee - as soon as they looked into the lens of my camera.
Later on in the afternoon, they invented a “dancing game”.

Joyful laughter sounds and then subsides, and the wind in the trees muffles the chirping.
Silence replaces the belling of a stag, and then, nothing.
Broken twigs.
Endymion was asleep.

When I first saw Kevin, his red curls and milky-white skin, the mischievous
innocence in his green eyes and his graceful nonchalance, I was immediately
reminded of a young shepherd straight out of some Pre-Raphaelite painting.
I would have to capture the unusual beauty of this face. I had already worked
out the setting – the red curls against the green moss of a great tree.

Then, I came across Christelle, cutting a fine figure on her horse and heading for Houdancourt. Her
proud bearing together with the black coat of her horse made me overcome a certain shyness.
- “What if I asked her to be one of the models?”
She would ride across the field of the camera, carry on riding, wink – close-up – and then – reverse
angle – disappear into the woods along the allée de Diane.
She left the camera field too quickly, I wasn’t able to get a close-up of her face.
- “No matter, if she’s a goddess, you can never see her face.”

The rustling of the forest, the incessant and imperceptible changes flickering of the light.

The metamorphosis of a the camera movement when it glides – the treetops, a dizzy spell, what
hides behind the transparent foliage and the white din of a sun which burns images?

Anne-Sophie Maignant

Translation: Jessica Stephens

Previous Work

La gifle

La gifle
Video stills, 2005

études pour Suzanne

études pour Suzanne
diptych, digital photographs, 2003

Re-trait IV

Re-trait IV
diptych, black and white photographs, 2002

Anne-Sophie Maignant Born in Paris E-mail Web Personal exhibitions

Le Vivat

, Scène Conventionnée, Armentières

Le Granit

, Scène Nationale, Belfort
Galerie le Lieu, Lorient Group exhibitions

Les Inattendus

, Lyon

One minute festival

, Aaurau, Switzerland

Festival Miden

, Kalamata, Greece


, FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-Lès-Rouen


, Impakt festival, Casco gallery, Utrecht, Netherlands

Festival Prog: Me

, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Festival Traverses Vidéo

, Toulouse

Journée du Film Court

, Cinéma La Clef, Paris (prize for best video-art film)

Carte blanche à Gabriel Soucheyre Videoformes

, Paris, Arcueil, Cachan

Cosmology of an image #8

, Kobe, Japan

Nuits de la Vidéo Française

, Gdansk, Warsaw, Krakow, Poland

Nuit Blanche à Paris

, Divan du Monde

Rencontres Vidéo Arts Plastiques

, C.A.C Basse-Normandie

Vidéorium 01

, les Abattoirs, Toulouse

Festival Rétina

, Hungary (prize for best video-art film)

Festival FIAV

, Tavira, Portugal (French selection prize)

Festival de Bochum

, Germany

Festival Vidéoformes

, Clermont-Ferrand
Villa Vincelli, Fécamp

Le Portrait photographique

, Manufacture des Oeillets, Ivry sur Seine

Traits Révélateurs

, Galerie Municipale E. Manet, Genevilliers

Reprise et Invention

, Bibliothèque L. Aragon, Choisy le Roi Award
Le portrait photographique, awarded by FRAC Ile-de-France Residences
Château de Sacy, Sacy le Petit
l’Avant-Rue - friches théâtre urbain, Paris
Centre de Photographie de Lectoure
Pour l’instant, Niort Public collections
FRAC Haute-Normandie
Artothèques des villes de Vitré et Hennebont; Le Ring, Nantes
Artothèque de la ville d’Annecy
Fond d’art moderne et contemporain de la ville de Genevilliers
Ville de Clichy-la-Garenne Other collection
Video Art Foundation Videodictionary (with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Culture)