Elein Fleiss’s exhibition, Cercle d’Etsuko from April 8-29, 2017
Elein Fleiss does not photograph to signify something, either for a future exhibition or for someone or anyone in particular. Her eye stops for the fugitive or poetic moments, which she catches on camera. Rarely does she photograph a person, but rather cats, trees, interiors, serpentine paths leading to discovery. Colors are never bright, but slightly melancholy halftones that always convey a feeling of calm. Her photographs reflect her path in life, standing here always looking elsewhere. Nothing is fixed.
Aside from this confidential work, she is first and foremost an editor. As an editor (she co-founded Purple magazine with Olivier Zahm), as a curator, in the pieces she’s written for magazines, in a few films she’s shot in Super 8, in the books she published, and in the trips she’s made – New York, Rio de Janeiro, Erevan, and Japan, each one was like an encounter, especially Japan. Yet the one thing that lasts is her very lively curiosity. She’s never constructed a career, and has neither a job nor métier. She’s more like a butterfly that leaves sparkling traces in her path.
“For the past 15 years I’ve travelled many times to Japan. The first time was on a Sunday in the very early 2000s. A photographer friend took me to Yamanashi. I remember the traffic on our way out of Tokyo in an old Mercedes and Mozart’s Requiem playing very loudly. A few hours later I met Jirô Kimura and Etsuko Miyoshi.
At the end of the ’80s, Jirô and Etsuko had left behind their urban world and work to live in the countryside. In 1993 they found an old Japanese house surrounded by cherry trees where they would create Gallery Trax. For the next ten years, exhibitions flowed in a rhythm of two per month. In the meantime Jirô made wood furniture. In 2004, Jirô died of cancer. Since then, Etsuko has continued their joint adventure, surrounded by many friends. I stayed with her several times and it’s always with regret that I leave Yamanashi.”