Intimate Photographs Show How Love Goes Beyond The Limits Of Age

miércoles, 19 de abril de 2017 17:39

|Rodrigo Ayala

With time, we come to realize that major changes do take place in the mind and the body. What was once a simple task now requires a strenuous effort from our part. Memories of books, movies, and precious moments now take longer to come back, or simply don't come back at all. The photo series Rosette, Mauricette et Roby by Swiss photographer Zoé Beausire dives deep into the lives of three elders to render a faithful and earnest portrayal of the way they share together their still and tranquil life. At first glance, images of old age whisper echoes of memories from a life once lived, but what else lies beyond?

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Beausire decided to make this collection because she considers the younger generations are not that familiar with mature adults everyday life. The aim of these photos is to provide possible answers to what is left of life after retirement, after children leave the home, and eventually when adult grandchildren no longer t visit their grandparents as often as they used to. The moment when many friends and family have already passed on.

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The three people featured in the photos are relatives of the artist. She took quick snapshots during short visits. Rosette was her paternal grandmother, while Mauricette was Rosette's sister. Both of them raised their children alone and worked in the same factory all their lives. As for Roby, he was her maternal grandfather, and lived alone in a small village. When he turned 91 years old, he no longer had any living friends, so he moved in with Rosette and Mauricette. T
hey were all from a humble background. Their lives were based on work and family, so once their children left, their social life decreased. Yet, instead of barricading themselves in a tower of past memories and denial awaiting death, they decided to enjoy their last years with each other's company.

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Beausire's images are simple and poignant at the same time. They open a new visual world youngest generations are reluctant to see, maybe because they're afraid of the idea of aging and everything that comes with it: the awareness of your own mortality, isolation, physical deterioration, and becoming dependent on others. Most people prefer to look away. But is old age really so terrible?

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In many western societies, the stereotype of old age is defined by a tiresome condition. So many people don't realize that growing old also means earning a special kind of freedom. You don't have to answer to anyone anymore, there are no responsibilities. There is no need to worry about rushing to a job or to pick up the kids from school. You finally have time for yourself, and this is what gives the word "aging" a new and broader perspective.  Maybe it is just like Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman said: "Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive."

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Although many of the photos in the collection convey moments of stillness, there are also photos that show the three of them enjoying simple activities by themselves, such as painting their  toenails or contemplating the world around them. That is a privilege we as adults lose because of our hectic schedules and lifestyles.
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The images of the time these three people spent together convey the intimacy and companionship they shared during the last stage of their lives. It is that same intimacy that makes the collection sweet yet intriguing. This photo series was exhibited in Kominek Gallery in Berlin in 2012. Zoé Beausire has also presented other works in countries like France, Spain, and Japan. If you would like to see more of this collection, you can visit her official site.

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Translated by Andrea Valle

Rodrigo Ayala

Rodrigo Ayala