La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée

Gallery Sit Down

09.12.2021 – 10.03.2021


Born to an English mother and a French father, Valérie Winckler had an itinerant childhood and an unconventional education. Trained as an art historian, she worked on l’Inventaire Monumental des Richesses artistiques de la France at the Ministry of Culture, and later left to devote herself to photography, collaborating with press magazines, advertising agencies and publishers. Very passionate about social topics and long-time projects, she has always managed to keep time for her personal work. The first subject Maternelles(Kindergartens), was exhibited at the Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles (France) in 1979. In 1984, she joins the Rapho Agency.

In 1985, Actes de naissance,her book on birth is published, followed in 1988 by a book on death, La mort si proche.

After La mort si proche, Valérie Winckler is invited several times, to speak to healthcare workers. She then creates her first montage mixing sound and photos. She uses the same technique for the film Peines,the life of a family when the father is in prison. This experience brings her to direct many other documentary movies for ARTE and Canal+.

In 2000, Valérie Winckler starts to explore other techniques such as photograms. She develops her artistic work with the Thessa Herold Gallery until it closes down in 2019 and, at the same time, she continues her documentary work.


I have always been amazed at the thread that links my different activities. Connections appear unexpectedly and open doors to unknown territories which lead to other forms and other languages. But the themes and questions remain: the ages of life, the mystery of origins, the taste for depths and for people. “