ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ROMA WOMEN TAKEN BY ERIC ROSET, BY CLAIRE AUZIAS

 

Gypsies are one of those subjects pampered by photographers: exoticism and visual force are guaranteed. Whatever the style of the photographer is, he will find hapiness in these people from all countries united in a suggestive power which have often been celebrated. Even in Arles, with Lucien Clergue, the illustrious predecessor. There have been photographs of Roma from all countries since the nineteenth century in European museums.

 

Eric Roset is registered in that particular pictorial tradition that captures a moment, an expression and offers it to us. But his photographs of women, more than his other subjects and characters, are signed by an idiosyncrasy which is recognizable from afar. These women are ultra-modern, perhaps even post-modern.

 

They live in various European countries, they are rural or urban, live in a caravan or are sedentary. But they are never frozen on glossy paper for the posterity of stereotypes that have done so much in the construction of an imaginary Roma woman. No, the women observed by Eric Roset don't have to be ashamed of their place in Europe today, because they act like all women of Europe. They sit together to discuss, among women. He captures two friends here, three gossipers there, four roma workers elsewhere. Children wearing make up, others posing with a sulky pout, or even a grimace. They are working: harvesting, gathering, cooking outdoors in precarious conditions. The Gypsy women photographed by Eric Roset, undoubtedly fled all stereotypes to camp in the world of today, wearing jeans and Adidas, riding a motorcycle, wearing "Made in China fluorescent pink" flip-flops, like anyone who shares the same low economic level.

 

We can thank Eric Roset because he has deviated from the so often explored aesthetic path, to lead us to another reality of Roma women. In this he is a precursor, and well ahead of the general photographic uses of the roma world.

 

Claire Auzias, November 30, 2009