Après tout (After All) represents a turning point in the work of Amaury da Cunha.
His previous series, Saccades (Jolts), was somewhat luminous, infused with a sense of wonder facing the world. Après tout darkens in tone, as wonder gives way to bewilderment. Invading shadows are the backdrop for a photographer depicting himself as blinded. Death and sex are less allusive. A dog bares its fangs, while a bird of prey claws a branch. Yet shafts of light or a glimpsed road suggest that the end is not as impending as we may think.
While Amaury da Cunha’s state of mind has clearly evolved, he remains true to one method: instantaneous or only vaguely staged photos in which deliberately incomplete narratives unfold.
He is thus in the lineage of a French school distinguished by a clear affirmation of the author and authorial subjectivity. Photographer/theoretician Arnaud Claass and novelist/critic Bernard Lamarche Vadel are clear influences. Whether photographic or literary, autobiographical or public, staged or not, Amaury da Cunha’s photographs do not lend themselves to simple classification. His clear observation conspires to create works that are free from naturalism, even though he works fully within the realm of reality.
The very esthetic power of these images is a key ingredient of their inscrutability.
Born in Paris in 1976, Amaury da Cunha studied at the École nationale supérieure de la photographie in Arles. After graduating, he began developing work that shifted between both image and writing.
Author of fictional texts and articles on photography (for Infra-mince, Photos Nouvelles, Vacarme, La Voix du regard…), he published Saccades, his first book, in 2009 with publishers Yellow Now. This volume of sensitive and intuitive photos also features a collection of short and incisive writings: notes, reflections, observations, fictions, etc.
éditions Le Caillou bleu, hardcover, 64 pages, 25 Euros
Espace Lhomond · 21 rue Lhomond · 75005 Paris
Opening: Saturday, November 10th, from 6pm
Exhibition: From November 9th to 30th 2012
From Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 19pm
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All images © Amaury da Cunha