Born in 1977, Aurélia Frey is a graduate from the National School of Photography of Arles. She was a member of the art department in Casa Velazquez in Madrid. She took part in many artist-in-residences in France and in Norway (including the Musée de l’hospice Saint Roch in Issoudun, the Musée Picasso in Antibes, and Halsnoy Abbey in Norway in Norway).
Passionate about painting and literature, Aurélia Frey creates links between the visual and literary worlds and photography.
Her images question the notion of passage, try to create interactions between the frontiers of the different universes of representation: visible world vs inner world, reality vs imagination, the tangible and the abstract.
Apnée is a photographic project, devised when I was artist-in-residence at Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch at Issoudun and carried out in the Creuse and Berry regions of France. It is inspired by George Sand’s Contes d’une grand-mère (A Grandmother’s Tales), and by the collection of legends, (Légendes rustiques) written by her son, Maurice. George Sand wrote down the fantastical tales which she used to tell her grandchildren to save them from ‘rapid oblivion’. They are stories from another age, explaining a universe beyond reason. In my Apnée project, I explore Sand’s world and interpret these legends in my own way. I focussed my research on her landscapes and on mysterious interiors, which resemble the strange abandoned Castle of Pictordu in one of her tales where, among the ruins, the statues come to life. I sought to blur the boundaries between the real and unreal and between painting and photography to capture the supernatural atmosphere of Sand’s tales and create a dialogue between images from the past and from the present.
This collection of images is the basis for a book, Apnée, co-authored by the writer Emmelene Landon and published by Editions Nonpareilles.
Beneath Life is Silence (La vie repose sur du silence) is a collection created during my period as artist-in-residence at Halsnoy Abbey in Norway and inspired by The Boat in the Evening, a book by Tarjei Vesaas. I am drawn to the concept of transition, which he explores throughout his work, the passage between good and evil, shadow and light, water and earth. His writing translates the comings and goings of the mind as it meanders, the oscillation between mist and brightness, reality and dreams. These are all notions which reflect the themes that interest me: his strong relationship with the material world, his strange, pure characters, always slightly distanced from the rest of humanity, as if they had gone to seek out private worlds, but on journeys where the idea of transition and sudden change is always present. Those moments where things are no longer as they were and become other, when dreams are sometimes stronger than reality. Entering the world of Tarjei Vesaas is, as the writer himself says ‘not to understand but to be near what is happening’.