23 x 30 cm. 48 pages. 30 color plates. Offset printed clothbound hardcover. Linen thread bound. Beige headband. Authentic tip-in image on front cover with typography on spine and back cover in white foil. Foiled endpapers in green.
Published in 2019.
François Halard (b. 1961, French) photographed his father Yves in his house in Les Vignères in the South of France during preceding days to his passing in 2016. Capturing last moments shared together, the photographs witness an unusual approach for Halard. Papa explores a personal milieu within a career principally committed to interior and architectural photography. Yves Halard was an admired decorator and in the process, also became a collector, a gatherer of objects, from antique furniture to toys. Therefore created, alongside his wife Michelle, a one-of-a-kind spirit — their own. Contrary to François Halard’s habits, these photographs delve into the very intimate; quiet pictures of a withering body, a frail face, marked by years and wisdom, and captured with affection and decency.
The book contains a preface, in French, written by François Halard, with an English translation by Haydée Touitou.
First edition of 700 copies. Special edition of 50 copies, numbered, in paperboard slipcase, screen printed in green, with signed archival pigment print.
Dad had come to live in Provence in order to be closer to me.
We had been reconciled for a few years…
During each stay in Arles, he would come to pick me up at the Avignon station. As for myself, I would visit him in the big house in Les Vignères where he would spend most of his time on his tractor: a red knit cap on, orange sneakers, a Sponge Bob t-shirt by Cy Twombly and in the winter days, he wouldn’t leave his mother-in-law’s moth-eaten mink coat behind.
Until he was ninety-three, he wanted to be close to his books, his toys and his trees. He had planted more than three hundred of them these past years; and as for his toys, no one could ever touch them.
Dad loved photography. Remy, Anaïs, Bastien, Alizée, myself, as well as his dogs Tina and Valentin, he photographed us all. He transmitted his love for images and objects onto me. He had thousands of them. He was called a decorator, but he was all about colors and objects. Ettore Sottsass’ lamps, Philippe Starck’s garden gnomes, Louis XV sofas, outsider art objects, religious artifacts in memory of his mother who was a sculptor for religious art. And then fabrics, fabrics and still more fabrics… He enjoyed mixing styles and confronting time periods. He therefore created a particular spirit, Yves and Michelle Halard’s spirit.
At ninety-three, Dad wanted to die at home with his cat who he called “the cat.” I was with him during those last days. It was right before Easter. I had just bought a digital Leica camera that allowed me to share these images with him.
I rarely photographed my family; especially not my parents, and even less so my father. However, I wanted to keep a trace, a memory of who he was. I thought right away about the photographs Avedon had taken of his own father. I had seen them for the first time at the Met in New York. Their strength had touched me deeply. A few years later, I found myself in Les Vignères portraying my father as well, yet in a different manner.
I took these photographs with love and decency.
— François Halard, Arles, 2019