2019 - current (work in progress)

I have no memory of my paternal grandfather, Daniel Wallard. He died in 1982. I was four yeras old. A well-known figure in Trouville-sur-mer, he was the pharmacist of the port of Trouville his whole life (from 1939 to 1982). But above all he was passionate about photograhy. This cultivated man, fascinated by art, photographed the many artists(painters, writers, poets, film-makers, etc) who stayed in the region. He became friends with some of them, such as André Gide, with whom he corresponded, and Louis Aragon, whom he photographed extensively and to whom he dedicated a book, Aragon, a portrait by Daniel wallard (publised by Cercle d’Art, 1979). Rather than my grandfather’s photographic work, I first thought of my father when I started photographing the Norman countryside. My parents still live there. He is so attcahed to this was he who instilled in me the desire to photograph this region. Its part of my family history and has inspired me a lot.
It was only later that I gained access to my grandfather’s archives. there I discovered a kind of photographic poetry that was close to my own, both in his relationship with his family and his environment. I selected images from his archives to resonate with my own. In an almost “insolent” way, since I didn’t follow his choices. By establishing this visual dialogue, I’m attempting to reconstruct a new family history, which is obviuosly subjective. Family histories are fluid and fragile , constantly revisited and fantasised over time by the people who inhabit them. They are a constant back abd forth between the intimate and the collective. They are multiple stories in which ambiguity, drama, love and hatred are woven together. Its a worldin which we build ourselves up and where each of us can be at once son, father and husband. Although I don’t feel that I’ve really met my grandfather though these images, my father is everywhere here.  I starded this project in 2019, my father died in July 2023.