2014 JURY'S CHOICE

Galith SULTAN

Lives and works in Nice, France.

 

www.galithsultan.com

 

 

Les Pièces Montées

 

« Every joyful drink is mother's milk.»

Gaston Bachelard, "Water and Dreams", 1942

 

 

For many years much of my work has been structured around books and the publishing world (Héloïse d’Ormesson, Eyrolles, L’Archipel, Gawsewitch…). The series "Les Pièces montées" ("The Wedding Cakes") emerged from stories that have marked my career and for which I also produced the book covers.

 

Overcoming adversity, surviving ordeals, going beyond pain to manage to enjoy each little treat in life, and allowing oneself to slip with delight into testing out happiness... That is what thy have in common and the starting point for this work.

 

After my mother was cured of breast cancer, these narratives also dovetailed with my own story.

 

In On Happiness, originally published in 1925, the philosopher Alain wrote: "The first hymn of love was that hymn to mother's milk, sung by the child's whole body, welcoming, hugging, and skimming with all its means the precious food. And this enthusiasm for sucking is physiologically the first model and the true model of all enthusiasm in the world (...)."

 

Nourishing, protective, and comforting, milk recalls the memory of absolute happiness, and this profound taste for sugar into which human beings throw themselves when things go bad—an unconscious memory of mother's milk—is the main theme of this work.

 

Through a personal interpretation of my family album and work re-writing these fragments of happiness, I wanted to build this series as one would prepare an assortment of delicate little pastries, an overlapping of textures and bittersweet flavors.

 

It is divided into three sections: construction and identity ("Les Pièces montées"  – "The Wedding Cakes"), childhood and transmission ("Les pièces rapportées" –"The Patches"), and memory and traces ("Les emporte-pièces" – "The Pastry Cutters").

 

Created throughout 2013, the "Les Pièces montées" series is a continuation of my previous research into memory, childhood, and maternity (Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, Grande Halle de la Villette, Galeries Photo FNAC…).