In childhood, imagination plays a critical role: believing in something makes it so. This might be what Nantes-based photographer Aëla Labbé (b. 1986) refers to with the title of her series L’ABSENTE (The Absence). Labbé describes the series as, “An ode to absence in all of its meanings: the missing, the lost, the disappeared or simply things that are invisible or out of sight […] but it’s also connected to the sense of freedom, providing a door to escape the commonplace”.
Children can lose themselves in their imaginary worlds, which cannot be seen by those who are not collaborating in their construction, and Labbé’s photography makes these fairy-tale worlds palpable. She casts a photographic spell made of corny textures, calibrated overexposures and fading colours, and with the help of little girls playing witches, she is able to evoke a magical yet disquieting atmosphere, like in a gothic fairy tale.