Artist: David Katzenstein
Étés francais is a collection of photographs from numerous summer travels to France between 1996 and 2007. During each summer Katzesntein and his family would rent the same small gite in the northern part of Brittany on a country road between the old bustling summer resort of Dinard and the inland hamlet where his cousins owned a two hundred year old farmhouse. Time would stand still as they ventured near and far, exploring the shores and valleys of this rugged province located four hours west of Paris. During each summer Katzenstein always had the same plan: arrive in Paris, rent a car and travel to some new part of the country before ending up at our gite in Brittany. When his time near the beach came to an end he would pack up the family and head back to Paris, where their favorite room at their favorite hotel in the Latin Quarter would await them. Paris would then be theirs for a short spell – its parks and streets and markets and museums never ceased to amaze them with a special beauty that only this city can provide. Then back to our home at summers end with memories to comfort them as he waited for film to be processed and images put to paper. The magic of the darkroom replaced the excitement of travel, where people and places appeared as white and grey and black, formalizing what had been just the blink of an eye.