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Sara Imloul



Sara Imloul born in 1986 (lives and works in Paris) has developed a practice focused on symbolic and autobiographical photography by staging her contrasted black and white images born out of inner visions and memories.

In line with a surrealist gaze turned towards the regions of the imagination, the photographer, widens the doors of perception and appeals to inward-turned vision, all favorable to visual experiences where reality and symbolic significance are as if intermined. Haunted by the memory of the self, inhabited by the intimate her images thus tend to perfect a knowledge of the exclusive arid refer to the memory of duration, to that of things, beings and instants, to everything that alters time, like a proposal she intends to oppose to death.

Since her studies at the ETPA in Toulouse, France, Imloul has been using calotype, a process developed by Henri Fox Talbot in 1840, which makes it possible to obtain a contact print from a paper negative. Each negative is reworked by hand, Imloul invents personal techniques in her studio that enable her to create her mysterious world of images by mixing drawings with collage atop her photographic prints. Either she work by blackening the salt to add light or by subtracting it with potassium ferricyanide to obtain a more shaded effect.

In the age of digital images and social networks, this artist has chosen slowness, the Arte Povera of photography. “If I have remained stuck on this process, which is tedious and heavy, and which has a very long exposure time, it is because it also reminds me of the pose of models in painting. Basically, it is the scene that interests me and that is how I create this fictional diary.

The result: images close to surrealism, dreams or nightmares, nebulous memories with a grain that evokes pencil drawings.

Contrary to digital manipulation, and instead going back to the origins of the medium Imloul’s black-and-white images are conceives as true theatrical pictures that seem to have come straight out of the 19th century, a time when heavy , cumbersome plate cameras imposed slowness and immobility on the models. Her first calotypes are distinguished by their small format and their great preciousness.

Maud de la Forterie (artpress n°488)


Sara Imloul was awarded the Levallois Prize in 2019 for the series Passages, de L’ombre aux images.
She has published two monographs with Éditions Filigranes: Passages in 2022 and Das Schloss in 2014.
Her work has been exhibited at the Manuel Riviera-Ortiz Foundation in a duo show with Elina Brotherus during the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles 2022.

Photographer practitioner cycle, ETPA, Toulouse, France

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