Myriam Viallefont-Haas

Photographe et Plasticienne

drapeau_fr

BIOGRAPHY

FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS , MYRIAM VIALLEFONT -HAAS HAS FOLLOWED HER OWN PERSONAL, SENSITIVE AND POLYMORPHOUS PATH THROUGH THE VISUAL ARTS. PAINTING, PUBLISHING, VIDEO, AND OF COURSE PHOTOGRAPHY, HAVE ALL SUCCESSIVELY BECOME HER PLAYGROUNDS.

During the 80s, she worked as a special correspondent for the French organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), in the refugee camps of Somalia.

A series of long-distance trips followed: Namibia, Cuba, Cambodia, China…

Myriam Viallefont-Haas photographed the world, cameras slung over her shoulder, with a passion for humankind that can be traced back to her childhood in the South of France. She brought back countless images for various NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), such as Act for Cambodia, and organized several exhibitions. Between travels, she worked for the famous Studio 666 gallery, dedicated to contemporary photography. She then decided to focus on photographing cities and their architecture: gardens, nature and environmental protection were recurrent themes in her work (the eternal hill of Vézelay in Burgundy), as well as architectural masterpieces (the Marais neighborhood in Paris).

In the 90s, Myriam Viallefont-Haas created the largest existing photographic collection dedicated to 19th century funeral monuments.

She also worked as a graphic designer, took part in art projects involving the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (National Museum Association), Hazan, the Rodin Museum, Picard, and created cultural games and art works for children.

Myriam Viallefont-Haas unremittingly carries on her photographic and pictorial research.

MYRIAL VILLAFONT -HAAS LIKES TO INTRO DUCE HERSELF AS A “PHOTO-EXPLORER WHO TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY .” VOYAGE MUSICAL (A MUSICAL JOURNEY ) – THIS VISUAL PARTITA WE ’RE IN VITE D TO TRAVEL THROUGH – IS A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITIONS REALIZED DURING HER TRIPS TO EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD. EACH ONE HAS ITS OWN TONE , ITS OWN SHADE, ITS OWN TEMPO ENHANCE D BY THE BLACK AND WHITE FILM SHE USES : FROM THE LIGHT OF CUBA TO THAT OF SEVILLE , FROM NEW YORK ’S CUBIST DESIGN TO SOMALIA ’S STRIKING HUMANITY , FROM THE PÈRE -LACHAISE CEMETERY WITH ITS MARBLE GRANDNESS TO THE ENTHUSIASM OF THE CAMBODIAN CHILDREN.

EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM TELLS A PART OF THE TALE OF HUMANITY .

Myriam Viallefont-Haas’ work falls in a direct line with the Humanist current of photography. Her mentors include Walker Evans, who defined ‘his’ world saying “I wasn’t looking for anything, things were looking for me. I felt it that way, they really summoned me.” She shares with him, Cartier-Bresson or Willy Ronis, a certain demand for reality. During her studies, her visual culture expanded as she discovered Dieter Appelt or John Coplans, whom she met while working at the Studio 666 gallery.

Surprisingly, literary references are never far below the surface of her very visual artistic practice. When she left for Africa to portray the refugee camps, for example, she remembered Frédéric Mitterrand’s magnificent Lettres d’amour en Somalie (Love Letters in Somalia). With every photographic stopover in this exhibition, the visitor finds himself dreaming of Hemingway, Pasolini, Pierre Loti’s Pêcheur d’Islande (An Iceland Fisherman), of Malraux’s Voie Royale (The Royal Way), but also of Musset, Balzac, Baudelaire… As if reading those great authors had opened the way to an aspiring photographer and given her a chance to step forward toward the beauties of the world, while leaving her silent childhood behind. Since then, Myriam Viallefont-Haas has grown up, but her thirst for images has never slackened. The acuteness of her gaze is unaltered: her dark, coal-black eyes – successively laughing or closely scrutinizing reality – know better than anyone else how to capture the elusive.

When one ponders Myriam Viallefont-Haas, the image of a living force immediately comes to mind, like a bubbling geyser, or the tempestuous rapids in a long river. As the offspring of a long line of women of strong character, the artist inherited a fiery temper.

Sufficiently aloof, she combines a discrete and respectful photo-reporter attitude with the seriousness of highly personal, aesthetic research. The term from Occitanie, “Viallefont,” supposedly means “the fountain path.” Perhaps it is on this path that Myriam Viallefont-Haas takes us, for our great pleasure. Driven by a spirited enthusiasm, she leads us through our stunningly beautiful, yet fragile contemporary world in search of its very source.

Myriam H.