Carolle Bénitah, who worked for ten years as a fashion designer before turning to photography in 2001, incorporates the art of sewing and beading into her photographs. The series Photos Souvenirs explores the memories of her Moroccan childhood and adolescence by reworking and threading old family snapshots. In what the artist describes as »excavations,« photos are unearthed from albums and shoeboxes, classified, scanned, transposed onto new paper, and finally hand beaded and embroidered by the artist. This final step, accomplished with red, black, or gold thread and wire and glass beads – chosen for their shine and delicacy – is a revelatory act for the artist: »To embroider my photograph, I make holes in the paper. With each stitch, I stick the needle through the paper. Each hole is a putting to death of my demons. It is like an exorcism. I stab the paper until I don’t hurt anymore.«
Carolle Bénitah’s work is part of notable public and private art collections, such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Among other venues, Photos Souvenirs was exhibited at Rose Gallery, Santa Monica, in 2015. Bénitah lives in Marseille, France.