Over a period of four weeks in May 2021, the French photographic duo Elsa & Johanna were based temporarily in Northern Germany in several villages in and around Moormerland in Lower Saxony. The artists chose with care houses with a kind of “outmoded charm” in which they stayed long enough to imagine and bring to life various characters; including sad young adolescents, fathers and housewives… The resulting photographs suggest the imaginary lives of the neighborhood inhabitants through the strange, almost cinematic aesthetic that characterizes the work of the duo.

The recourse to auto-fiction, at the heart Elsa & Johanna’s practice permits them to stage scenarios with characters freed from their own identities, and thereby to interrogate contemporary questions of individuality, as well as notions of self-representation and anonymity. These images, organized as though taken from family albums, mix posed portraits, spontaneous and accidental photographs, and fragments of interiors, proposing multiple and interrelated narratives of imaginary daily lives.

The Timeless Story of Moormerland opens at the European House of Photography in Paris on September 7th, 2022.