Lise Sarfati is a talented French photographer who lived and worked in Russia for 10 years before relocating to California in 2003. Lise was born in Oran, French Algeria and grew up in Nice, France. From 1989 to 1998, she lived in Russia, photographing decaying industrial sites and abandoned young people in Moscow, Norilsk and Vorkuta. She received the Prix Niépce in Paris and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York for her work.
Each of her works makes clear the identity of an approach focused on the intensity of the rapport established with the person photographed, and of that person with the context. A vision in which the individual is environment, a map outlining a perilous cultural geography. The richness of perception is constructed without effects. The compositions are flawless in the simplicity and unity of the image – the style tends to be elementary and clean, avoiding all qualifications, but the traits of each thing and each person trace a hundred thousand folds. The dimension of the interplay of postures is that of a solemn immaturity: the scenery formed by the people and places is the silent crumpling of a dream in which each risks his or her skin. A feminine seduction tinged with fateful coincidences; the beauty of the adolescents looks like a magic spell. Their solitude and strangeness in the world turn the image into an echo chamber inhabited by the photographer, her subject and the viewer.