Artist Book, Edition of 500
68 pages, 27 cm × 20 cm
Cover Layout: Gina Mönch
Text: Madoka Yuki (French and English)
Editor: A.L.M. Editions
published with Distanz, Berlin
Thirteen years old: at the beginning of the adolescent phase everyone passes through. Children at this age are not really kids any more, nor are they yet adults. It is the in-between phase. TREIZE was a collaborative creation involving a thirteen-year-old girl, Léa, and a young photographer, Anne-Lena Michel.
The photographer got to know the model while she was working as an au pair in Paris in 2001. She took care of Léa after school at her apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Léa had her afternoon snack, the goûter, and did her homework with Anne-Lena. If they had free time after that, they would do a photo session. It started as a kind of game or free-time activity. They’d use the clothes, cosmetics, accessories, etc., they found around the home, belonging to Léa, her mother, or the photographer. In what they referred to as “self-staging,” Léa chose her own costumes and came up with the poses herself. Sometimes she simply wore her costumes without makeup; sometimes she’d sit on a sofa in the living room, in heavy makeup. During one photo session, they choreographed a certain scene that was like summer vacation, staging a beach situation with a towel and sunglasses in the living room.
Fifteen years later, the photographer rediscovered the importance of her work TREIZE. In the meantime, she had majored in photography at an art university and attained an understanding of the criteria that constitute “good” photography. For the series TREIZE she didn’t choose the snapshot style as her artistic strategy. They were simply snapshots which she can now no longer take. Even though Léa wears gorgeous clothing and makeup as in a staged fashion photograph, the elements of an ordinary young girl’s everyday life were unconsciously shown in the photographs. Elements such as a spray can in the background, washed clothing on the bed, a leather camera case on the floor, etc., show that the everydayness in TREIZE was not staged. These striking yet natural images show through the optical unconscious.
Because Anne-Lena was not yet a photographer during these photo shoots, she could come close to the potential of photography—unconsciously. Because she has become a professional photographer, she can now discover the relevance of this photographic oeuvre.
extract of the text written by Madoka Yuki
»A.L.M. l'édition«, 2017
Artist Book, Edition of 100,
© Layout A.L.M.-CI: Gina Mönch
32 pages, 42 cm × 29,7 cm
Editor: A.L.M. Editions
When you first browse through it, Anne-Lena Michel’s work A.L.M. l'édition resembles a fashion label’s lookbook or a particularly aggressive marketing campaign—the artist is clearly utilizing the visual language of fashion photography here.
Since her business card operates as a basic design element in each of the items in the fictional collection A.L.M. l'édition, the artist is literally inscribed in every picture.
The cover of A.L.M. l'édition is itself a charged and visually stunning prelude to the overt games that unfold in Michel’s work as she plays with the application and meaning of contemporary visual codes.
The gesture of the raised forefinger, which is firmly anchored in the daily prayers practiced by devout Muslims (it is used during the Islamic creed, the Shahada), has recently been exploited by the ISIS terror organization and has thus altered its meaning for many people.
The book comprises a total of thirty-two pages, with a combination of images that are not only used in pop cultural contexts like fashion but are also taken from the propagandist context of extremist movements.
»THE CRUISE COLLECTION«, 2018
handsewn tote bag, Edition of 10
42 × 38 cm, handle length: 70 cm
materials: canvas, polypropylene handles
»THE CRUISE COLLECTION«
A.L.M. produced this exclusive edition of tote bags out of the last two remaining canvases of her father's sailing boat. They served as faithful companions during the numerous circumnavigations of captain E.C.M. and finally reached save haven in this edition of puristic, functional and extremely sturdy bags.
Each bag is labeled with the unique A.L.M. Editions brand logo.