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Twenty years ago, a student at the University of Seville, Cecil Ka worked on the similarities and differences between the Camargue Regional Natural Park and the Doñana National Park, located south of Seville. Two protected natural spaces where mental representations have forged strong identities, and of which the regional costume is one of the expressions.

From 2017 to 2019, she photographed those whom contemporary Sevillian costume transforms into another version of themselves on festival days.
In order to show the transformations induced by the embodiment of the identity reflected in the identity reflected in the costume, the photographer asked the person to neutrally pose, simply dressed in a gray T-shirt.


Cecil Ka places herself just before the celebrations, when the bodies are available and determined, their eyes in ours.
The images come in pairs, they speak to us in pairs, but they are in fact threefold.
An interstitial image is formed in the lack, in the viewer's head.

As a photographer of the visible and the invisible - of the in-between - Cecil Ka abandons the question of the instant in favor of  the relationship between us, the viewers, and them, the images.

Repositioning the challenges of portraiture in the field of contemporary art. Cecil Ka weaves the link between them and us, between the tradition of the genre and its posterity. Impossible images, and yet withing us. Images have always been there, bodies, faces, looks have always revolved around her.

Is it because of the uncertainty of our being in the world that photographers work to give faces to the visible  ?
Is it to calm the turmoil of existence that Cecil Ka places women (and a some men) in front of her ?

Women dressed in their luminous simplicity or their most sumptuous celebratory outfit.

She builds a superb and universal matriarchy from Brooklyn to the streets of Seville, from Sundays in Arles to the barrios of Mexico City; where death and celebration mingle as a matter of course.

FLAMENCA! _ Jean-Paul Cassulo, psychoanalyst, March 2020

Cecil Ka double portraits immediately raise a double question :

Who are these women and men ?

Who is Cecil Ka ?

This is not a question of the double, which has crossed the history of representation and which photography has seized in its own way for a century and a half, but precisely that of identity.


What do these images tell us ?

What parts of reality and fantasy constitute them ?


The recurrence of the pose, of the light, of the arrangement, the syntagm of the photographs, do not make mystery of the obsession of the step.

It has here the double function of putting the picturesque at a distance while bringing us closer to the “persona”.

The shots give to see an amplified duality.

The visibility of the traditional dress and the uniformity of the gray T-shirt at the same time the construction of the singularity of individuals within the same group of belonging.

These signs represent a non reducible constitutive part of identity.


But what do these women and men look at beyond the photographer's lens ?

What are they trying to reveal or hide under their brightly colored outfits?

Is the truth of their being to be found under the feigned simplicity of a gray T-shirt ?


Cecil Ka invites us to a double unveiling.

On the one hand, that the truth of her models which does not appear so much in the unity without ornament as in that, at the same time coded and sophisticated, corseted and provocative, of a striking beauty because it is dressed with a brilliant freedom.

On the other hand, that of the truth of the photographer who, by showing us the images of this identity quest in which she participates, questions us at the same time on the relative acuity of our glance in front of the question of representation.

And this representation of a real world in luminous outfits tells us much more about the singularity of each psyche than the illusory truth covered by gray cotton.


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