Agnès Varda left a month ago. But he left us extraordinary films and installations appreciated all over the world. His art was born on the kitchen table, where he also held the Oscar for his career in 2018
The Oscar for his career Agnès Varda he didn't keep it on a well-visible shelf or on a particularly high shelf, but in the kitchen. In a place where you could have a fruit bowl or a toaster. To the detriment of what one might think, the "feminist" who had told the feeling of waiting and abandonment, the Nouvelle Vague teacher in a world of men only, loved the kitchen as part of a whole and, in particular way of his home. A one-storey building painted from four shades of pink and which has been inhabited since 1951, even before directing its first film. Often associated by the radicals with the idea of the angel of the hearth, of the one that spreads the dough and grind the sauté, the kitchen for Agnès was the "female kingdom" par excellence.
Between art and fashion and cuisine: a world of creativity
"I'm not saying that we must all be cooks or cleaning women, but simply that we women feel comfortable in the kitchen," he said in a 2002 interview, sixteen years before holding his first and last Oscar. It was on the kitchen table that he fine-tuned the details of his films, revising the scripts and accumulating notes and scribbles. At her side, her sons Rosalie and Mathieu did their homework and kept her company: the right harmony that she needed to let the art take over and free herself from the most disparate forms.
His installations in international galleries and museums, from Tokyo to Liverpool, have been appreciated all over the world just like his films and the look that proudly showed off as a fashion icon. At 89, one year before his death on March 29, 2019, Varda dressed Gucci, was promoted from the site of "Vogue America" for her tunic with pink prints and striped edged pants sported on her last red carpet. she was proud of her hair, with that bowl cut, the blonde base and the bordeax all around, which had captured the attention of the photographers.
Small in stature, with the fluent English that occasionally filled with the words of her first language, the French, Agnès moved like a balancer on the stilts of art, of the explosion of vitality that has always infected her. Everything, however, started from the kitchen, from the oasis of thoughts in which he relaxed before deciding how to move. Having left as a wedding and family portrait photographer, she suddenly realized that all the women-directors who had crowded the 1950s cinema had disappeared. She wanted to do, she had said she was irritated by all those men who, behind the camera, told only "stories of couples who divorce, or fight, or a lover comes, or one of them dies". With The courte pointe (1954), his first film set in Sète, a fishing village in southern France and his mother's hometown, a new era finally begins. Costing just 14 thousand dollars – at the time the films cost twenty times as much – it is appreciated by filmmakers and the public who capture its nuances and expressive strength.
His productions – about forty – would have escaped any classification, mixing fictional elements with those of documentary reportages. Strong, personal, frank, contemptuous, they would have traveled around the world while she, Agnès, would have remained in the privacy of her home. "They go and I stay here," he said after upsetting the conventions, alternating colors with black and white, professional actors with ordinary people, still photography and classic video. "I don't want the world to be segregated. For me it is necessary to reconcile everything because I love everything, "he said one more time, confirming that the desire to do is free to come out without necessarily buying an intercontinental ticket.