Raymonde April

Je m’effondrai en larmes sur le lit, 1978

Raymonde April
Je m’effondrai en larmes sur le lit
Dimensions and medium
Gelatin silver print, 41.5 × 51.5 cm
Artwork description
Between 1978 and 1979, Raymonde April produced her “captioned” self-portraits that exposed and subverted the mechanics of representation specifically through self-representation. These photographs probe the boundary between reality and fiction through scenes that are frozen in time and dramatized by, among other things, the use of theatrical lighting to reveal the actions of a young woman (April) in a variety of emotional states. The use of text here, printed on the lower frame, is pivotal. As both reference and commentary, it suggests a distancing between the writing and the image that necessarily involves the viewer in the continuation of the drama’s key elements. The caption Je m'effondrai en larmes sur le lit. (I burst into tears on the bed) describes the photograph’s composition in successive terms: “je” in reference to the person on the bed with the camera; and “en larmes” in reference to the artist’s face hidden in shadow. The narrative element transcends the literality of the word and the gesture to convey mood, status and identity and expresses the precariousness of the implicit.

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