Karianne Bueno (NL) "La Cigale Et La Fourmi" - Helphoto 2023




La Cigale Et La Fourmi
About fifteen years ago, in her late twenties, Karianne’s cousin E. chose to live her life as free as possible. She is a shepherd in the French mountains for most of the year and spends the rest of her time riding her horses or driving her camper van towards the sun.

E. and Karianne are the same age. As kids, they saw each other only once a year and didn’t understand each other’s mother tongue, but Karianne always felt they met on some kind of soul-level. Like E., she has always had the feeling that modern western society doesn’t fit her – its emphasis on materialism and self-realization, its shallowness in social manners, its pressure on ever more, ever better.

Her cousin is like a mirror to her. They are alike, but worlds apart. While E. decided to step out, Karianne stayed. She still doesn’t really fit in – as an artist and mother, she feels she has to constantly defend her choices, to both the art world and the society of ‘working people’.

What does freedom really mean – as a concept, as something we all seem to aspire? After a couple of years of reading, thinking and looking closely at her cousin, Karianne begins to wonder if it even exists. La cigale et la fourmi, which lends its title from a famous fable by Jean LaFontaine about a singing grasshopper and a hard-working ant, is a long-term photography/text project containing a vortex of ideas. It is about the metaphorical place where our personal lives and western society collide, about commitment, feasibility and the human need to be seen in a world that continuously seems to move away from us.

The photographs in this portfolio are made in France and Spain between 2017-2022 on Kodak negative film (120 and 35mm). The project is ongoing.

Karianne Bueno is a photographer, teacher and mentor based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Balancing the universal and the private, she is a storyteller, focussing on long-term projects. She is drawn to individuals who live their lives alone and outside society. Photography, for her, is a way to relate – both to the ‘other’ as to the world that surrounds us. Alternately photographing and writing – a reflective process that takes several years each project – she continuously shifts her perspective. Beside working on these long-term projects, she is a teacher at the Foto Academie in Amsterdam.


Karianne Bueno (NL) "La Cigale Et La Fourmi" - Helphoto 2023
Karianne Bueno (NL) "La Cigale Et La Fourmi" - Helphoto 2023