When I began to explore the small communites from La Sarthe (a french region), of no more than 3,000 inhabitants each, I took on the attude of a stroller: someone who wanders aimlessly, letng herself be carried away by intuiton.
This situaton gave me a sense of weakness and freedom at the same tme. However, the tny size of the rural villages made it impossible to get lost. The feeling of evasion was soon replaced by claustrophobia. Space was compressed while tme seemed to lengthen indefnitely. Events took place on a small scale, in everyone’s own privacy. It was therefore necessary to go in search of the hidden. Scratch the surface and pay atenton to every litle detail, no mater how insignifcant it seemed. Without knowing, I had taken on the role of an inspector.
At the same tme, in such a small place, being unnotced was completely impossible. I observed and was myself observed, almost analyzed. It was inevitable to be seen as the discordant element of a slow moving daily life. I was the strange, the exotc, the rare. The one who breaks the calm installed in all corners. The one to whom to show his best side and hide the unspeakable. There was a strange balance between exposing and veiling. They doubted me and I doubted them.
In fact, the act of photography is just that for me: a way to discover clues beyond appearances. A game between the verisimilitude of the images and the fantasy to which they lead us. A way of questoning reality and setng the mind free.
“Le musée vivant” was conceived at the artsts’ residence of “Pettes Citées de Caractère de la Sarthe” in 2015. Nevertheless, it remains open to transformatons and currently welcomes images that come from elsewhere, before and afer this experience.
About Marta Pareja
Marta Pareja is an Spanish visual artst, living in Barcelona. She graduated in Fine Arts and later, interested in the relatonship between photography and other disciplines, she carried out a master in Comparatve Studies of Arts, Literature and Philosophy.
Over the years, she has alternated artstc producton with other professional actvites such as graphic design, pedagogy or cultural mediaton. Nevertheless, photography has always been at the center of her interests, due to its communicatve capacity but also to its ambivalence and connexion with reality. In recent projects the idea of image has been expanded, giving way to other media such as performance, sculpture or video. It is precisely this experimental spirit that has bring the creatve process to the center of her atenton, both in her artstc career and in her pedagogical work.
Her projects have been exhibited regularly since 2009 in Spain, France, Germany and Portugal. She has also carried out several artst residencies such as Les Rencontres de la jeune photographie Internatonale (Niort, Ville Pérochon, 2011), l’École Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles (2014-2015) or Les Pettes Citées de Caractère de la Sarthe (Le Mans, 2015). [Official Website]