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Exhibition « Jane & Serge »

Exhibition in Calais

  • « Jane & Serge »
    Family album by Andrew Birkin
    While it is true that many photographics exist of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg as a couple, Andrew Birkin's series
    is conspicuous for its intimacy and rarity. These images of a decade which is seen by many as symbolic of a true cultural
    renewal offer an extraordinary diversity of stagings.
    The exhibition at the Calais Museum of Fine Arts follows the recent rediscovery of private photographs by Andrew Birkin,
    brought into the public arena in...
    « Jane & Serge »
    Family album by Andrew Birkin
    While it is true that many photographics exist of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg as a couple, Andrew Birkin's series
    is conspicuous for its intimacy and rarity. These images of a decade which is seen by many as symbolic of a true cultural
    renewal offer an extraordinary diversity of stagings.
    The exhibition at the Calais Museum of Fine Arts follows the recent rediscovery of private photographs by Andrew Birkin,
    brought into the public arena in the form of a prestigious art book published by Taschen in 2013 under the direction of
    Alison Castle: Jane & Serge, a Family Album by Andrew Birkin (Taschen, Cologne, 2013). It is partly based on information
    and a selection of prints from that book. Featuring in turn family snapshots or series of commissions for the press, the
    exhibition reveals the extent to which the private and public life of the artist couple formed by Jane Birkin and Serge
    Gainsbourg were interwoven.
    Yet the exhibition Jane & Serge, a family album by Andrew Birkin develops an original discourse, combining a selection
    of Andew Birkin's photographs with a brief presentation of the cultural context. It draws visitors into a period of artistic
    profusion and new freedoms, to this day epitomised in France by Jane Birkin. The exhibition also evokes the artistic
    experimentations conducted at that time by Serge Gainsbourg, although these attracted less attention than the later
    excesses of his decadent dandy persona.
    This exhibition takes on its full significance being staged as it is in the city of Calais, the crossing point between France
    and England. Serge Gainsbourg looked across the Channel for a more modern sound; his music is inspired by an
    Anglo-Saxon legacy and his meeting with Jane Birkin, the young English actress who was to become his muse. Dated for
    the most part between 1964 and 1979, Andrew Birkin's photographs bear testimony to this pivotal period for the artist,
    between France and the United Kingdom.
    The content of the exhibition has been developed by the Calais Museum of Fine Arts with the collaboration of Andrew
    Birkin and the cultural projects agency Art Storm.