• Patrick COCKPIT

Forgotten figures of the feminist resistance on the threshold of the twentieth century

The fourteen images presented here are not real.
Eevrything is fake.

The fourteen images presented here were found in the attic, by chance.
Everything is true.

Photography is a lie and truth. In the nineteenth century, when the collodion technique appeared, it was first used as an account. Today we would speak of photojournalism. The Gettysburg corpses shot by Timothy O’Sullivan or the field of cannonballs transfigured by Roger Fenton during the Crimea War are its most striking illustration, while already raising the concept of intention... and manipulation.

Things get even more complicated with the first portraits. Very quickly, the notion of decor has its importance. But what to do with neutral images, with no other historical indication than clothes, hairstyles, the attitudes of the people pictured ? How to identify the period of time,year, place, the truth in what photographers choose to show ?

This is the subject of Forgotten Figures of Feminist Resistance at the beginning of the twentieth century. Maintaining doubt, forcing those watching to question the origin of what they are given to view. In the age of Internet and Photoshop, when literally everything is doubtful, where is the truth ? How can we distinguish it ? Where is the boundary between fiction and reality ?

The collodions presented here were made with a large format camera. The aluminized plates are direct positives, unique, exposable as they are. Their great fragility and poor conservation imply subdued lighting.



In his forties, Patrick Cockpit works on the photographic representation of awaiting, silence and the invisible. As a fan of straight and square images, he nurtures his schizophrenia by mounting different projects on totalitarianism and its production, or more prosaically on feminist, punk and offbeat portraits. He is a member of the Hans Lucas studio and mainly works as a portraitist for the press, institutions and various publishing houses.