Five years later, July 2004, she sends me an email to tell me that she is pregnant with a daughter. She is now married and has moved to a bigger and lighter apartment. She is seven months pregnant. She would like me to photograph her before her baby is born. One month later I travel to Paris, when she is eight months pregnant.
I find her in a state of ‘absence’. Pregnant with her first child and in her condition she makes a somewhat introverted impression on me, much stronger than I remembered from our first encounter. We have a drink, she tells me her daughter’s name will be Albane, a name I’ve never heard before, like that of a princess. I ask her to undress. She looks both different and the same, her pregnancy is obviously visible but she maintains that girlishness and boyishness that so impressed me the first time.
The girlishness predominates as she lies on the sofa, as I ask her to do, her advanced pregnancy gives her a more defined form, more sensual. The boyishness is mainly evident later when she stands against a bare wall. I focus on the centre of her body as a peculiar universe of invisibility, the pronounced round form, I can think only of a globe, which she supports with her linked hands.
After the session she phones her husband who works elsewhere in the building and when he arrives we eat a light lunch. We chat about art and photography, about recent books and exhibitions in Paris. I then leave the house. On my return to the Netherlands I create a series from the photographs which I call En attendant Albane and I send this to her.
I add two quotations to the series. One is a fragment from Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain Fournier, about emergence. The other is from Dora Bruder by Patrick Modiano, about vanishing, about this fragile life. Stories about the emergence or the loss of this fragile life.