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Cecil Ka was born in the 70s. She divides her time living and working between Arles and Seville.

“What I see isn’t in front of me,

it’s in me.” Cecil Ka

Is it because of the uncertainty of our being in the world that photographers work to bestow faces on what we can see? Is it to calm the turmoil of existence that Cecil Ka places women (and men, occasionally) in front of the camera?  Women dressed in their luminous simplicity or in their most sumptuous festive attire.

The pictures have always been there. Bodies, faces, gazes have always revolved around her.

Cecil Ka’s need to record photographically was tragically triggered by the untimely death of her mother, a woman as brilliant as she was loving. From then on, Cecil Ka dived into photography, striving to capture the strength and presence of women, constructing a superb, universal work on matriarchy from Brooklyn to the streets of Seville, from Sundays in Arles to the barrios of Mexico City ; where death and celebration seem to evolve hand in hand.

Cecil Ka sets up just before the celebrations, when bodies are available and determined, their eyes looking into ours. The images come in pairs, speak to us in pairs, but are in fact threefold.

An interstitial image is formed in the gap, in the viewer’s head.


As a photographer of the visible and invisible – of the in-between – Cecil Ka forsakes the question of the instant, in favor of the relationship between us, the viewers, and them, the pictures. Relocating the issues of the portrait in the field of contemporary art, Cecil Ka connects the link between them and us, between the tradition of the genre and its posterity.

Impossible images, and yet within us. Portraits of the living and the departed. Presences in absence. Maternal ashes shining with tutelary constellations that will, maybe, give us a new direction.

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