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Paris: Hédi Slimane, Sonic at the Fondation Pierre Bergé


If you still have your old black-and-white TV, this exhibition is for you. Hedi Slimane’s Sonic at the Fondation Pierre Bergé & Yves Saint-Laurent is devoid of color. The black floor dominates the white. The white walls invade the black. It’s chic, sober, somber and full of mystery.


The opening was attended by Bernard Henri-Levy—also in black-and-white—Emmanuelle Seigner, a member of Air, Vincent Darré and patron of the arts extraordinaire, Mr. Pinault himself, wearing a fashionable cap. The second thing one notices, after the color, is the feeling exuded by the works, a feeling of youth, hipness and rock (without the roll). You can smell the booze and drugs, you can hear the screeching guitars, but it’s never as grim as, say, Larry Clark’s teens. Hedi Slimane is more melodramatic than his colleague from Tulsa.


Slimane’s work is also more melancholic, more romantic than Clark’s, even if some of his subjects seem just as thin-skinned. Speaking of skin, there’s no shortage of it here, with teens wandering around shirtless. Although the photographs are never overtly sexual, they draw the viewer into the daily lives of these touching youths, who take in music like a drag on a cigarette. The white frames with floating prints produce a beautiful effect, and the slideshow in the middle of one of the rooms deserves to be admired for a few minutes.


Among these portraits of sweaty young men are a few celebrities: Brian Wilson, Keith Richards, Lou Reed, plus one of the finest portraits ever taken of Amy Winehouse. In short, Slimane has a knack both for fashion and for photographing his time. This is one of the best exhibitions out there.


Arnaud Adida


Hédi Slimane : Sonic
Du 18 septembre 2014 au 11 janvier 2015
Fondation Pierre Bergé & Yves Saint Laurent
5, avenue Marceau
75116 Paris

Photographs by Hedi Slimane

Publisher : Xavier Barral
Relié sous coffret
216 x 254 mm
224 pages + livret
252 photographies N&B
Price : 47 €

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