Photography Exhibition: «Le Jour où Fidel Castro est mort»


[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] The exhibition “Le Jour où Fidel Castro est mort” [The Day Fidel Castro Died] featuring photographs by Monique Patrin, is presently on view at Galerie MLS, 123 Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux, France. The exhibition opened on January 4 and will remain on view until January 27, 2018.

Description (by Marie-Lys Singaravélou): Monique Patrin had not made an appointment with History and yet she landed in Havana the day Fidel Castro died …, staying in Cuba to take pictures for the subsequent nine days that were spent in mourning.

With no journalistic or ideological framework, Monique Patrin’s photos coincide, in fact, with the reception of this historic moment that marked the definitive departure of the Líder Máximo for Cubans and, on a world scale, for all those who followed Che, on the “shining path,” either through writing or from their rooms lined with posters to his image.

The unprejudiced gaze of Monique Patrin is calm, attentive, and open to the singular revelation of this microcosm of meaning, detached from the big picture by the framing of the lens.

In the forgetfulness of oneself.

The visual potential, both emotional and reflective, of a fragment of reality within reach of her gaze is—to the maximum of its peaceful radiance—intuitively selected and caught by her reflex camera.

The streets, usually colorful and sonorous, are almost empty. Colors, in full exuberance, occupy center stage in those days without music or alcohol. Architecture is perceived in its theatricality, with its trompe-l’oeil, palimpsests, and frescoes representing the icons of the revolutionary gesture, disintegrated by time and sometimes, repaired by a pious, untrained hand.

The living now dialogue conveniently with the effigies of the glorious deceased. A man on a stone threshold comes face to face with Fidel Castro in his triumphant maturity. A little girl with her mother plays toton, just like, three centuries earlier, Chardin’s young boy played [referring to the painting “L’Enfant au toton”]. Monique Patrin’s aim captures the grace of this moment of intimacy in the open air, the eyes of the child, and under the table, feet extending in their sandals. Thus, the photographer “garners” the imperceptible beat of an instant. In the same way, the very young children, pressed behind a gate, reveal the intensity and the mystery of their presence—a chubby hand, a cheek in the light, a look in itself. . .

Monique Patrin’s lens tames from afar—if “far” still exists—the natural and urban landscapes, and the faces that show their way of being to the world, which refers us back to our own.

[Translated by Ivette Romero.] Source:;

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