Lafurie

Lafurie born Prisca Munkeni...
Ordinary route, ready-made path, marked itinerary. Zairean, born in Brussels in 1981, grew up in Kinshasa in 1984, becoming Congolese throughout history in 1997, she bifurcated ... A Fury slowly hatched in another Africa, within the arc in nascent Johannesburg sky, leaving year after year free at its fascination for people, their grotesque chic, their delicate vulgarity, the sweet torture that tends their destiny.
Then hatched the photographer, eager to freeze the moment, to prolong the taste a first impression, playing with her in time, the sets and her
history. But also mix the real with the fantastic, the probable to unexpected. To surprise and create another truth. Hers.
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The country that saw me born is not mine, the state that saw me grow up has disappeared, the nation of my passport barely exists. Remain my culture, in memory weakened by the jolts of history, and whose survival is based only on a handful of people, an oral tradition whose breath is dwindling. Without doubt is this the breeding ground of my art, this propensity to want to make dialogue frozen moments, prolong their existence to infinity, force them to speak in an environment saturated with elements, lights. Over time, objects, places or characters through which our identity is forged, dissipate, memories with diaphanous forms. The weight of their senses, frustrations or pride engendered slowly bury themselves in our daily lives, at the gates of oblivion.
And memory, stuck in this daily loses the thread: why we cry, why we love, why we live.

My photos want to prolong these moments, to memorize in a scene the story of these storytellers, retouch their worlds to give them all their otherness. A fight against time, space, and all their elements. A last tribute before the flood of years.

2019
“Dandy Queens”, Gender Bending Fashion, Group Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, USA
Black attitude, Pop up Show, Marché rue Dix, Brooklyn, USA

2018
Fly in the milk, Bremen Theater, Bremen, Germany

2017
Fly in the milk, 11e Lieu, Paris, France

2015
Wrong Education, Galerie Esdac, Aix-en-Provence, France

2014
Wrong Education, Photobastei Artwalk exhibition, Zurich

2011
“Oh my god I see famous people”, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

What are your main sources of inspiration? Do you have topics that you prefer? 
Anger is the strength that pushes me to create. My art is my escape. 
I generally deal with topics linked to the past, the traditions and cultural weight, genre, identity… 

Why do you stage yourself in your pictures?
The topics I deal with are very personal and shooting other people would mean that they would interpret it in their own way. For some pictures, it doesn’t matter. I would even say that I need it. However, for some specific pictures, the photographer’s gaze toward the model becomes too heavy to carry. The subjects I deal with being brutal and strong, it could quickly become patronising. I prefer being my guinea pig and then being inspired and taking pictures without any delay nor intermediary. It’s real freedom. Freedom is the final goal in my life as in my art.  

How do you transcribe your emotions and inspirations in your photographs? 
I write down my emotions. Then, images, souvenirs and even objects appear to me. Sometimes, I make sketches. These days, I film myself while I’m dancing feeling an emotion and I photograph what my body expresses. The photomontage technique completes the picture and plays this game between reality and fiction. 

What are the messages you want to convey through your work? Would you say that some of your pictures criticize society's problems or changes? 
I’m a black woman living in an Occidental society. There are too many messages! Each picture conveys its message. In a general way, all my photographs describe the foibles of society linked to my experience and the feelings I inherited. I’m the voice my grandmother didn’t have. 

What is your creative process when you start a new series?
When I feel concerned by a topic, I try to identify myself with it. Then, my obsession, my anger, my fears and my story enrich it. From the moment I find the red thread to link all the images, the magic starts.




Prisca Munkeni Monnier a.k.a. Lafurie