September 25, 2013

Zine: Les Filles

Being a girl can be pretty wonderful.

Perhaps because we are girls (well, okay, not everyone reading this), we often forget that sometimes the little things we do can be strikingly beautiful. Walking to work with your headphones on, buildings or trees streaming in the background, drinking coffee on porches, jogging alongside a reservoir--why is it when these everyday activities are depicted in film, they're artistic, but in real life, they're mundane? This begs the questions: who will capture the small things we do and reveal just how extraordinary they are? When opening the pages of the zine Les Filles, it's almost like a wave of relief is cast over the reader--someone has finally taken the time to expose the everyday as remarkable, not in a pretentious, gurl-everything-I-do-is-special way, but in a way that reminds us mere existence is an art form in and of itself.

Les Filles was released in the early summer of 2013, and is curated by Naomi Wong, with contributions from fourteen female photographers who, though not always depicting girls, capture the ordinary in pastel, dreamlike hues. It's interesting the zine is titled Les Filles, the French word for "girls." Filles, pronounced "fee-s" or "fee-ulls," if you're a crude American like me, sounds a lot like "feels," which is apt because when looking through the various images, that's exactly what you're faced with. A lot of feels. And definitely a lot of girls.

In Les Filles, we're struck with the idealization of females--the image of the girl holding a vintage blue telephone with tears drawn onto her face and curlers in her hair reads like a Lichtenstein painting come to life, but it's really only someone on the phone, her facial expression screaming of heartache. On another page, a group of girls (and two boys!) sit in what looks like a fort, with the moon or something like it (what else is like the moon?) looming in the background. This image evokes thoughts of what boys think happens at slumber parties--except this time two boys are invited to partake in festivities--where mysticism and dreams are born, when in reality, all we do at slumber parties is eat too much candy and talk about morons and television. Images of girls drinking sodapop, laying on beds and chewing bubblegum riddle the zine's pages, depicting what could be models, celebrities and fairies. But something nagging at the back of your brain says these girls are you, me, my sister, your sister and everyone in between.

Find out more about Les Filles here.

Written by Molly Morris