As a director with the Megaforce Collective, Léo Berne has been working for Madonna, Rihanna, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or Metronomy among others. And, throughout all these years, he’s been constantly adding to the much more personal photographic work he had started as an adolescent. « I Barely Remember » is an exhibition that can be seen like a travel log as well as like an album of portraits, all part of a string of plots and micro-stories that reveal the feelings of an author visibly inspired by the poetic power of memories that fade away.

Léo Berne is always striving to render – or construct ? – recollections, be it when he finds himself navigating in the air, or oscillating on horseback, regardless of the city he happens to be in, of whether his feet are derailing, or sinking in the sand, regardless of whether he’s amazed, submerged, or even in harm’s way. Léo Berne’s deep empathy and sense of adventure propose a contemplation of life that is neither cynical nor perplexed, but exhilarating. Image after image, Léo Berne drives us into a universe where light, color, intimacy, eroticism, melancholy and humor resonate together in a boldly coherent arrangement.

Some portraits are staged scenes, the narrative plot of which will remain Léo Berne’s secret. His nighttime snapshots, in particular, evoke the universe of Hou Hsiao Hien in « Millennium Mambo ». At other times, he simply wanders about, and captures an urban scene imbued with a quiet strangeness – or with the strange calm that would typically be found in Wim Wenders’s atmospheres. In his eyes, the improvised appearances of these successive scenes turn the sequences into full-fledged choreographies, in completely hallucinatory circumstances.

Although it may be what we would expect of a dream, «I Barely Remember» is not the memory of a dream, but an actual rendition of the reality of human beings in all its exquisite and jubilant glory.

The exhibition will showcase about 15 color prints taken between 2008 and 2016.


Dates : Sept. 9 to 24, 2016

Place : Gallery &co119, Paris