May I Introduce: ÉmilieRégnier
July 18, 2018
Labels: On track, May I introduce
Emilie believes in the possibility of illustrating the contemporary face of our societies through her genetic make-up. In a world full of illustrated intense differences, she stands out as a person who wants people to be clear about the fact, that „each of us carries a bit of the other“. (FINANCIAL TIMES) Besides I'm convinced she wants to show us a various sides of society, or simply a option / version. We're much more similar than we think, therefore she is planing to organize projects that explore the link betweenus as individuals. Emilie actually never thought about becoming an artist: „Like I said, I never really considered being an artist. I just managed to do things that are considered art.“ (Issue Magazine) After she finished her photographic studies in 2008, she moved from Dakar to Paris, where she currently lives and works. If you ask for her plans or achievements, she explains it never feels enough, because as an creative person you're often on the way to the next level.
In her series of „Hair“ she was partially inspired by the complex style of the hair of black women: „Hairstyle is a means of expression. In Côte d’Ivoire, women go out of their way to be a “go” (a good looking girl). A “go” is a woman who sways her shoulders! As she walks by, men turn their heads.“ (Vogue) The photographer tried to demystify the African-American influence which, owed to globalization, is mostly seen on television. Most of the African women from Ivory Coast she interviewed and photographed, told her they would love to look like Beyonce or Rihanna or even both at once. The results show us a fusion between influences of African-American hairstyle and their African interpretations: „Part of our identity is inherent to our image, and our image is defined by our attitude.“ (Vogue) Here she refers to a metaphor in the bible, when Delilah cuts Samson's hair. This act causes a damage in his strength. For black women their hairstyle and power go hand-in-hand, as Emilie explains.
Another very inspiring series of African styles is the „Leopard“ portrait series. The leopard patterns and prints carry a strong symbolic power across the globe and have their origin in Africa. The portraits feature this pattern in various places like Dakar, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Paris and even a small town in Texas. I never spent much thought on the symbolic power of leopards, but when it comes to the photographs of Emilie I see there's a lot more than just the pattern of the fur. The leopard stands as a symbol of courage, strength and beauty throughout Africa. The fur represents the tribal power for traditional healers and heads of state. Especially fashion is drwan to the pattern with Christian Dior being one of the first ones to used it on the runway during the 1940s. (source) Nowadays the leopard stands as a symbol of sensuality, even self-assured, mystique and strong feminity around the world.
When asked what is next for her, she answered: „To give birth to a leopard.“ (Issue magazine) To go into extra detail she's working on a DNA project to find out more about her connection to 1224 people, who share parts of the same DNA as her. In a VICE Interview she told us that it's a very slow process. In the end it's about to challenge the way of perception: „What is white? What is black? It's super ambitious. But globally, patterns can unite people.“ (source) We're definitely curious about what's to come and will keep you informed about any new exhibitions etc.