In Havana time is an unavoidable character . Destructive or facetious, sardonic or nostalgic, political or imaginary, irreverent in any case, time sprawls its texture and shadow all over the city. Half a century of defiant isolation, embargo and excruciating austerity has done its work. In the vale of years, the revolution seems to have been confiscated, the superb and sensuous fabric of the city has crumbled beyond repair, people have gone into exile building a very vivid absence, heroes have aged, swimming-pools have been left empty and disbelief and reluctance towards propaganda is everywhere.
Time has collapsed here but time is on the verge of unwrapping. On Havana’s streets, there is a charge of anticipation, and one senses a people yearning to escape this fallen paradise and to embrace the world. These pictures have been taken between June 2014 and June 2016.
Raised in Paris in a rather conventional family Marylise Vigneau developed an early taste for peeping through keyholes and climbing walls. She studied “Compared Literature” at la Sorbonne and her thesis was about cities as characters in Russian and Central-European novels. Her education is essentially literary but photography became more and more her language during her life’s journey. During the past 8 years, she has been mainly documenting life in Asia focusing on cities and on what time and development or isolation do to them. She visits the periphery of our habitats in search of fragile beauty of human existence with its desires, humour and abysses. She likes to play with opposites; absence and presence, emptiness and fullness, isolation and multitude, fondness and irony, the very near and the far away. The inner and the strange.
Her work has been shown in Angkor Photo Festival, Foto Istanbul, Yangon Photo Festival, Nairang Gallery in Lahore and Focus Photography Festival in Mumbai. It has also been published in Pix Quarterly (India), Asia Life and Milk (Cambodia), Eyesopen (Italy) and Oneworld (Nerderland). Her ongoing work about Cambodia has been exhibited in November 2015 at the Delhi Photo Festival, in March 2016 at the Chennai Photo Biennale and screened at the Angkor Festival 2015. Her work about the Lahore Mental Hospital in collaboration with Aun Raza is currently exhibited at QR Photo Gallery in Bologna, Italy.