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Je suis malheureuse et heureuse

Series of 25 photographs and a video, 2017–2020.

Artist‘s book, Meta/Books, Amsterdam, 2020.

The artist's book Je suis malheureuse et heureuse presents Anaïs Horn’s work on French author Anaïs Nin’s early diaries, the “Journal d’enfance“, written at the age of 16 in 1919 – 1920. In its first pages, Nin sets the tone, describing her discovery about her coming of age, her life between 11 and 16: Je suis malheureuse et heureuse. That is the core sentence and title of Anaïs Horn’s project, consisting of 25 intimate portraits of girls between 11 – 18, shot at her studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Exactly 100 years after Nin’s writings, Horn explores the magic and the problems of being a female teenager, the rites of passage, the timeless and the time-specific topics of female coming of age.


Besides the portraits, the book will include stills from the video La Boum, which Horn developed with a 15-year-old dancer, original texts and manuscripts dancer, original texts and manuscripts from Anaïs Nin’s journals, diary fragments from American poet and researcher Jackie Wang, texts by Maren Lübbke-Tidow (DE) and Verena Walzl (AT).


Je suis malheureuse et heureuse was shortlisted for the Photo-Text Book Award at the photo festival Les rencontres d’Arles 2021 and in the official selection of the 2021 Oslo Fotobokfestival.

See publication

Anaïs Nin, Original manuscripts 

(c) UCLA Special Library, Los Angeles

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