Sion and Moore is delighted to announce an exhibition of photographs and video by French-born, Welsh-based photographer Clémentine Schneidermann. I Called Her Lisa Marie + Bonus Track will present work made over a five-year period in Wales and America. In this considered and empathetic series, Schneidermann explores the cult of Elvis as it manifests in working-class towns in South Wales, with a focus on Porthcawl, site of the annual Porthcawl Elvis Festival, the self- proclaimed the largest festival of its kind anywhere in the world. She also follows a young boy called John-Paul from Wigan who, with his mother Alison and grandmother Margaret, travels to Memphis to perform as an Elvis tribute artist under the stage name ‘Johnny B. Goode’. Additional images in I Called Her Lisa Marie were made in the towns of Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool, and Abergavenny in Wales.
The dramatic tension in Schneidermann’s work springs from the counterpoint of the bright neon lights, gaudy costumes and brazen commerciality of the cult of Elvis in Memphis with the post-industrial banality of its transatlantic iteration in Wales. This is the American Dream meets Brexit Britain, wherein the dream-imbued spatial iconography of the stage, screen, commerce and street (most evident, of course, at Graceland) is co-opted by ordinary people living in a very different time – and place – to that which gave rise to Elvis in the 1950s. Inevitably, melancholy occasionally appears amidst the beauty of these photographs.
24 Oct 2018 – 3 Nov 2018