beyrouth-liban - decembre 2003
exposition Culbute

Fennel photography show does somersault of self abandon
Lebanese-raised, Egyptian born graphic designer examines anti conditioning
In lebanon, a country full of contradictions, even the typical artistic struggle against conformity is turned inside out and upside down.
Culbute, which loosely translated from the french, means somersault, is the latest in a series of impressive photographic and installation art exhibits at the Fennel Gallery.The show, which opened last thursday, features the photography of  Kris seraphin-lange. Having left Lebanon aged 22, Seraphin-Lange, 35, has been living in Paris for the past 13 years where her works has been featured in local magazines.
The images are beautiful.  Around the room, sensual golden photographs of nude feminine shapes blend vagueness and movement.  Against the cream-colored walls, the images collectively invoke a dream-like state, hinting instinctively and fittingly of a conscious-unconscious aura. Like many of the photo exhibits at Fennel, this presentation of 18 pictures is modest and unpretentious. The square shaped Haselblad format images blur and soften lines, making the images seem more like paintings than photographs.”I consider my work as images- not photographs” explains a serene Seraphin-Lange the day of the opening. “ Images create  an atmosphere, feelings and context while photographs simply translate form and reality” .The sequence of images is provocative, making intelligent use of the space’s layout to express a story: Seraphin-Lange’s experience of self awareness. Images of body fragments- from the feet, “ where we gain all balance” to the small of a woman’s back, to the curve of her bodyline hang along the circular wall of the gallery. Using the one window in the space as part of the exhibition works. “ It represents reality and the sense of becoming aware because the next photograph is the meeting of mind and emotions” says Seraphin-Lange, pointing to the following image of a woman’s forward-leaping head adjacent to an image of the body. The pictures culminate in a series of somersault movements. The fragments come together: the mind, the emotions, and movement. Culbute, she explains, is about allowing yourself to see things differently; to see things upside down; to face and accept personal contradictions. The Culbute is about anticonditioning, she says. “ It is usually children who do somersaults because they are instinctive, spontaneous and creative. But as we grow older, little by little our hands are tied down to the point where we don’t know why we are here and who we are anymore. We have to do  somersaults in life to see things upside down and not necessarly in the pre-established way that we are condioned to see things”. Culbute is her  second exhibition in beirut. She was here in October 2002 showing MARIE, MES ANGES ET MES DEMONS, as part of Le Salon des Independants. “I feel very alive in Lebanon because there are contradictions. All these years I thought I was alone with my contradictions. When I came to Beirut last year, I realized It was not just me, but the place where i came from. I realized that i am Lebaneese!!                            Garine Tcholakian