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Audrey Tautou
"Untitled", Audrey TautouCourtesy of the artist, © Rencontres Arles

Amélie actor Audrey Tautou exhibits self portrait series

Playing both subject and photographer, Tautou explores the complexities of the spotlight

Audrey Tautou, the actor known best for her roles as the titular and whimsy Amélie and Coco Chanel in the hallowed biopic, is exhibiting a showcase of her photography from across her creative career.

In an interview with the New York Times, Tautou details how the fame she found in 2001’s Amélie saw her turn to photography as a release. “I needed to do it,” she said. “Maybe because of what happened to me with this huge celebrity suddenly – it was a way for me to take a bit of distance from the storm.”

Her exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles festival will be the first public showing of her artwork. It will include a range of self portraits, as well as annotated images of journalists who have interviewed her over the years, who have fashioned her public image. The show plays with ideas of both the subject and artist, celebrity status and the most intimate.

She added: “I adapt myself to the location, which is always some intimate place – a place that I owned or at my parents’ house. Once I take the photos, I don’t retouch and I don’t change the framing at all. I don’t cheat on anything.” 

Tautou also expresses an interest in wildlife photography, citing the work of Dian Fossey as a major inspiration for getting into the art form.

“For me it was a necessity to deliver myself from this work,” she explains to the publication, detailing the aim of showing her private pieces. “I’ve been keeping it to myself for so much time, even those around me don’t know this work.”

Audrey Tautou, Superfacial launches July 3 – September 24 at the Abbaye De Montmajour, Rencontres d’Arles, France