After the collection
 of Nadine and Paul Catry

Original Exhibition

08 October 05 December 2021

Curators : Anne Lacoste with Marion Ambrozy
in collaboration with Nadine and Paul Catry
Production : Institut pour la photographie 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the marketing of the first inexpensive automatic cameras led to an exponential growth in the production of photographs. Widely accessible to the public, cameras became part of the home and took on a function within family life. 

For the past ten years, Nadine and Paul Catry, from Lille, have constantly explored this domestic practice of photography. Their “collection of gazes” brings together anonymous shots of various subjects and from different periods, which reveal an almost universal appropriation of this medium to bear witness to our relationship with the world. 

This exhibition is devoted to a collection of more than 370 photographs of a young Belgian girl, which Nadine Catry has been able to reconstruct. While the initial motivation was to reconstitute the identity of this anonymous figure, the series is also an opportunity to revisit a shared practice of photography, drawing on research devoted to vernacular photographs. This show pays homage to the rituals and codes of family photography, as revealed in a sociological study directed by Pierre Bourdieu: Photography: A Middle-Brow Art, published in 1965. The decision to present all the available prints and information, as well as the research process, is part of the Institute’s participatory approach. The exhibition reconstructs a timeline of the life of this young girl, from her birth in 1926 up to the age of 27, featuring transcription s of notes found on the backs of the photographs. Some images have been isolated, assembled or completed with other more recent images from the collection, so as to highlight the singularities of this private story, and to place this individual practice within the wider history of amateur instant photography. 

A picture rail invites the public to enrich this collective quest.