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Valérie Winckler



Atlantide 3

2017, 19.5 x 29.5 cm, pigment prints on Canson Rag photographic paper 310gr./m2, printed by

Anne-Marie Msili-Jézéquel, 6 editions + 2 AP

Atlantide and Phosphène

It was by night, on a beach -  the full moon was shining - that I tried, for the first time, a more experimental photography technique. By working with the sea and its elements, directly on light-sensitive paper and without a camera, I discovered the possibility of revealing an imaginative world that fascinated me. In the footprints of waves, sand, and pebbles, I found nebulae, galaxies, and new territories. I was at the birth of the universe.

A few years later, I wanted to rediscover this ability to transform reality, this time with a camera. I had fun, I cannot say otherwise, in finding all kinds of elements in nature or in everyday life; I used shapes, transparencies and colours to create foreign lands where I loved to get lost in.

The Atlantide and Phosphène series were born from this approach.

Set off on a research with or without a specific goal, glean in reality what is given to you, find connections, associate, compose and then photograph; and once the photograph is taken, discover it, transform it slightly to erase the landmarks and travel freely within the image, follow your imagination, accept it’s mystery without trying to solve it.

Then choose a paper that brings out the tone and sensuality of the image and amplifies its mystery. How many times have I heard the exclaim “but this is a painting!” Yet that is not the purpose of my research.

Photography documents reality. It makes visible. It shares.

But it is also an invitation to travel. It offers the unexpected, it reveals the invisible.

— Valérie Winckler





Born to an English mother and a French father, Valérie Winckler had an itinerant childhood and an unconventional education. Trained as an art historian, she worked on l’Inventaire Monumental des Richesses artistiques de la France at the Ministry of Culture, and later left to devote herself to photography, collaborating with various press and publishers.

Her photographic works have been exhibited since 1979, when she first exhibited at the Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles, France).

Since 2000, Valérie Winckler began to explore techniques in making photograms (photographic image made without a camera, usually by placing objects on the surface of a light sensitive material, then exposing them to light.)

Very passionate about social topics, she develops her artistic work and while continuing with her documentary work, which is published in press magazines and books. She has been working on long-term projects, exploring techniques and mixing medias. These projects include books, beginning with with Actes de Naissance, a work centred on birth, and La Mort si proche, a book about the approach to death in different hospitals, and later a montage which became a tool for reflection and training for healthcare workers.

Winckler has also made multi-award winning films. Her first work, Peines (the life of a family with the father in prison), was made by mixing sound and photographs, and was recently awarded again at Nuits photographiques 2015. Another highly successful film, L'Heure de la Piscine (Swimming-pool Time), have led her to direct many more documentary films for ARTE French Channel.

She joined the Rapho Agency in 1984.

"I have always been amazed at the thread that linked my different activities. Connections sometimes appear unexpectedly and doors open to unknown territories which lead to other forms and other languages. But the themes and questions remain: the ages of life, the mystery of origins, the taste for depths and for people."  


— Valérie Winckler

Valérie Winckler.0907.jpeg
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