La Femme à La Mèr(e)

Self-Portraiture on the French Shore

“Femme à la mer(e)”, is a self-portraiture project. The project name is a pun with “bouteille à la mer”, “bottle to the sea”.  It refers to the message put in the bottle and entrusted to the sea. Moreover, there is also a wordplay with the french words “mer” and “mère”: “sea” and “mother”. These two words, in french, have the same pronunciation but they just change in writing. In fact, adding an “E” at the end and an accent to the word MER (sea) as a result, we have MÈRE (mother).

In French the word “mer” (sea), is feminine, and in the french culture symbolizes the mother. So, the sea is a big mother.

Mother or Daughter

In my black and white self-portraits, I am a woman carried by the current, at the french shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The woman arrived there maybe after a shipwreck. She is a daughter and, at the same time a mother.

The daughter who the Sea, the big mother, threw out from it-herself. Near to her there are some fish, landed with her, and wasted, with entrails out. Fishes are children of Sea too, but they are the children of the woman as well.


The Fish Entrails A Connection With My personal Story

Fishes and their entrails are the connection with my personal story, most importantly, with my mother and me. I remember when I was a child, the only moment very close with my mom, was when she cleaned the fish we bought for eating. I was whole time observing her during she took off entrails. This macabre detail is the relationship with my mother.

Wasted fish has also many other meanings: fish for me symbolize both sexes, feminine for the internal side, where are entrails, and masculine for its own external shape. So fish is an androgyne symbol where male and female join together in a perfect union.

I prefer that every person who sees these photographs can give his or her own meaning and interpretation. In conclusion, I hope people can have a personal emotional experience when seeing my self-portraits. 

This self-portraiture is realized in black and white film photography, in south France, at the end of the 2011 summer season.

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