Autour de l’extreme

Posted on Jan 30, 2011 in Art

I went; I dragged my sorry arse in to Paris today to see Autour de l’extreme – Maison Européenne de la Photographie, despite monthly discomfort and freezing temperature and stood for 45 minutes on an outdoor queue to get in, but it was worth it. I got to see three Joel Peter Witkin’s, three Molinier, a number of Mapplethorpe, four stunning Bill Brandt’s a grand scale Helmut Newton (interesting) – a few Andres Serano; part of the KKK portrait series (interesting article here ) and also two large colour prints from The Morgue series. Happy days there were TWO Diane Arbus prints, after studying her work and reading about her for so long, I finally had the pleasure – for me it was almost like coming into contact with her, in person :) :) :)

The exhibition was supposed to be quite shocking but I guess because I’ve seen alot of the work before in books or wherever, they lost some of the shock value. For me the most confronting was the series of bombs.

Raphaël Dallaporta, from the Antipersonnel series

Raphaël Dallaporta‘s landmines come in all shapes and guises. They are framed and lighted like precious jewelry, French perfumes or rare beetles. It’s only when you look at the labels that accompany them that you realize they are instruments of death and dismemberment. “The US is the country that does the most to remove landmines,” explained the photographer, noting the source of one of them. “But the US is also a big manufacturer of them. Imagine a cigarette manufacturer being praised for making nicotine patches.” We Make Money Not Art

It definitely looked to me like the wealthier countries had the prettier bombs.

I really liked Bruce Davidson‘s series East 100th Street, but I did not like the sleazy looking man with a video camera hogging the space in front and around them so was not able to immerse myself as much as I would liked to have. I’d not heard of Bruce but will definitely come back to him and that series, I am a self confessed voyeur so I find photos providing a peek into another’s home and immediate environment, compelling.

Thanks to We Make Money Not Art for the links and stuff. I’ve missed loads that I really loved but I forgot my pen and notebook so didn’t take note. Oh, the bodybuilders collaged with the butterflies, superb! And always a pleasure to see a Pierre et Gilles. As always, after I have left an exhibition I immediately want to go back for a second look.

More pics if you fancy clicking through but are of an ‘erotic’ nature so may not appeal to some…..

Bill Brandt

Claude Alexandre, Untitled, 1982. From the series Fétiche, 1980 – 1989