Journée Particulière by Célia Houdart
While photographing the actress Raphaëlle Gitlis at the restaurant Le Petit Suisse, Alan Fonteray is approached by a stranger who asks if he can borrow his camera to take their photo. Fonteray accepts, and the man photographs them, and then leaves with a redheaded woman. The woman returns to the restaurant and tells Fonteray that the man who just took their photo was none other than his idol, Richard Avedon. Fonteray runs after him and asks if he can photograph Avedon and the redheaded woman (Nicole Wisniack), in return.
Why did Avedon – known neither for his kindness nor his generosity – allow this photo to be
taken Journée particulière is a story about this mirrored photograph, and this mysterious encounter, as told by Fonteray’s friend and neighbor, Célia Houdart.
Houdart writes with ease and grace, and it’s as if Journée particulière were written with one
stroke of the pen. She goes back and forth to these two images – the story that they project and
the ones that occur in the background, behind the scenes, where Fonteray works as a stage
photographer, where Avedon lives his passion for theater, and where Houdart grew up, in the shadow of her parents’ career in theater.
An intimate tribute to the artists of theater and photography, Journée particulière explores with much subtlety the multiple reverberations a chance encounter can have on one’s life.
Journée particulière by Célia Houdart, P. O. L.
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