Somewhere: a project by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

When she arrived in the United States in 2006, Sandrine Hermand Grisel and her family embarked on a road trip to discover their new country of adoption. By car, they drove across six different states (California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona), on a journey of a thousand miles where they discovered well-known monuments and national parks as well as remote places, stopping in big cities as well as in small villages.

[quote_box name=””]Hermand Grisel’s images from this road trip were pulled together in a series called “Somewhere…” as in “somewhere in the United States.”[/quote_box]

[dropcap type=”1″]S[/dropcap]omewhere, because as she explains in her artist statement, she decided to show glimpses of America…here or there…to progress by strokes…by sensations…here or there…by impressions…by moments…by whims. As an emigrant she didn’t feel like a tourist, nor a total stranger, nor totally at home. Her vision was therefore unique, the images personal to her experience as she transitioned to this new country and explored this foreign land, the miles of desert unfolding before her.

For her, Los Angeles will remain a huge amusement park ride in the shape of a giant bean. Death Valley will always conjure up images of ravens dancing on a dried tree. Las Vegas isn’t a city of neon and lights, but instead, it is a few palm trees lost in front of an immaculate blue sky. Unusual, timeless, irrational, her memories of America are not what we would expect, not like others: her images are an elusive vision of a country without limits.
Her photographs – ghostly, scratched inky prints on matt paper – are ageless even if they evoke a past, a story, a journey.

“Somewhere…” is her American testimonial, her testimonial from here, nowhere and elsewhere, as well as a beautiful souvenir of an incredible road trip she wishes she could do over and over again. Ten years later she still continues to travel and discover new states and new places. With 3.79 million square miles to travel, her series might just never end (for her pleasure as well as ours).

About the author:
Sandrine Hermand-Grisel is born in Paris, France. She is a freelance photographer since 1997. Self-taught, she wins many photography contests (including the Prix Kodak de la critique photographique). Her photographs have been displayed in many collective exhibitions – in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and the United States.

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