As part of your residency at the Cité internationale des arts, in partnership with the Fondation Culture & Diversité, you received creative support from independent curators who are members of C-E-A / Association française des commissaires d'exposition. Can you tell us how this support has nurtured your practice?
Working with the curators gave me an insight into the issues involved in building an exhibition and producing a video as part of an exhibition, which was very new to me and opened up a lot of possibilities for my practice. The support I received consisted mainly of planning the exhibition Faire danser les ours, presented as part of the Festival des Traversées de Marais. The particularity of this work was that we were thinking about the exhibition at the same time as I was producing the objects that would be shown there. This of course fed a lot into my production; I was able to concentrate on very concrete questions, such as what is going to exist and how, which enabled me to clarify my intentions in a more general way. I really appreciated that, especially as I'd never had the opportunity before to see a personal project through to final production with other highly qualified professionals.
You will be opening an exhibition at the Cité internationale des arts in September 2023 to coincide with the Traversées du Marais festival. How did this project develop and how does it fit in with your residency project?
"My residency project involved producing installations based on a film project, intended more for the cinema, about language and love stories. For two years I filmed the speech and gestures of children in nursery and primary schools in Paris to deal with this subject. My approach is more of a documentary. Last year, while I was taking part in a writing residency at Périphérie, the form I was developing, both in terms of the narrative and the experience I wanted to convey, gradually led me towards installation. This is what I wanted to explore during my residency at the Cité des Arts. The exhibition project fitted in perfectly with my research at the time: how to produce videos for an exhibition space, how to think about the editing in the space, via several screens, and the possibility of wandering around.
I spent some time going back over the filmed images and recorded sounds, as well as the various objects I had collected in the leisure centres: drawings, photos, love notes and letters. I had to sort through all this vast material. Then I experimented with arrangements using video editing, while at the same time exploring ways of projecting in space and onto different media".
Do you have any other current or future projects?
"I'd obviously like to continue with this project and give a final form to both the installations and the film. At the same time, other projects are gradually coming to a conclusion. I've been working on a series of photographs with three social science researchers from the Institut Convergence Migration on the complexities of living in exile. Most of the photographs were taken with a view camera and depict the various 'welcoming' or supposedly hospitable structures in the city, both intimate indoor spaces and public outdoor spaces. This work will be exhibited in October at the Maison de l'Architecture in Paris. Finally, I'm in the process of finishing a video installation that will be shown at the Maison Salvan in Toulouse, also in October, as part of the exhibition L'eau qui fend la pierre avec l'herbe by David Ryan. It is conceived as an encyclopaedia of everyday gestures of care and attention practised in Belfast, mainly by people who identify themselves as women. These gestures are a legacy of ways of resisting and fighting that are often hushed up and devalued. By archiving them, I wanted to show their power and their particularity: I was lucky enough to work with Oona Doherty to interpret certain gestures."
Ninon Lacroix is a photographer and filmmaker. She took part in the Equal Opportunities programme at ENS Louis-Lumière in 2017, when she was about to complete her degree in Philosophy at PSL / Lycée Henri IV - ENS Ulm. She went on to study for a Master's degree in Photography at the École Nationale Supérieure Louis-Lumière, specialising in Alternative Processes, Animating the Still Image and Portraits with a Photographic Camera, graduating in 2022. She completed this course with a Master's degree in Creative Documentary, specialising in Filmmaking, which was the result of a partnership between the École documentaire de Lussas and Université Grenoble Alpes. During her studies, Ninon Lacroix received grants from the Fondation Culture & Diversité and Prime Video.
Ninon Lacroix uses film, documentary and photography to explore the conventions of love and the notion of gender. As part of the C&D Residency, she plans to produce an audiovisual device aimed at exploring a form of imagination that would suggest a form of subjectivity through the deployment of mental space like an exterior landscape. The collection of a vast and protean material, made up of montages, interviews, stagings, portraits and drawings accompanied by their audio description, would be exhibited in the form of an immersive installation that would propose to the spectator to cross the device as one would cross the unconscious of an individual.