Four years ago, French photographer Lise Sarfati traveled across the United States, photographing young adults, and published them in a book called The New Life. The photographs are dramatic, while ordinary. She portrays her subjects in a highly charged light - even if they seem bored, the photographs are anything but boring. She attempts to examine the complex emotional states of mind of her subjects.
Lise was born in 1958. Sloane was somewhere between 15-17 years old in these photographs. Do you think the photographs would be different if someone her own age was the photographer?
"I didn't hang out with any of the girls [who she was photographing] for too long. If I spent too much time with them I would create a moment that didn't exist. So I just watched what Sloane was doing, and when I saw something I liked I stopped her where she was. Then I shot her with a Leica 35mm camera, with a 35mm lens, and just natural light, as always.
What interests me is the way people regard themselves. When we are 15, we all feel as if we are beginning to become somebody else. When I first met Sloane she was very shy, and she was wearing a wig. She seemed already to be creating a new personality for herself. She was very pretty, but she looked like she was hiding herself. She didn't like her body much: she thought she was too fat. Her surroundings were all very melodramatic - she had an almost religious way about her.
I like the fact that this image is quite mysterious. I can look back at it, years later, and notice new things that I had not seen."