Elena Perlino, Indian Time — Michel Hellman

[Summer 2023]

By Michel Hellman

Elena Perlino
Paris et New Richmond, éditions Loco et éditions Escuminac, 2022, 176 pages


The expression “Indian time” has a pejorative connotation. It implies that “Indians” lack discipline and a sense of responsibility, in contrast to the supposed self-control of “Whites.” Saying that a person is on Indian time is another inability to fit into the mould imposed by the constraints of the modern world; second, more subtly, as a way of distinguishing themselves. Indian time evokes a blurry, elastic relationship with time, diametrically opposed to the productivity so valued in Western society. Being on Indian time is an invitation to slow down. It isn’t a justification for laziness but a way of feeling the world, of following nature’s pace.

It is this aspect that Elena Perlino, an Italian photographer based in France, chose to develop in her lovely book Indian Time. En territoire innu, co-published in Quebec by Les éditions Escuminac (the publishing arm of Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie) and in France by Les éditions Loco. The works in the book were produced from 2017 to 2019 during four stays in different Innu (and Naskapi) communities in northern Quebec and Labrador. The project took shape during an artist residency organized by Les Rencontres en Gaspésie and received support from the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal and Air Inuit (it should be mentioned, in passing, that this small northern airline regularly offers support to a variety of art projects)…

[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 123 – THE POWER OF INTIMACY ]
[ Complete article, in digital version, available here: Elena Perlino, Indian Time — Michel Hellman ]