Following a series of internet messages calling for the removal of photographs by Diane Ducruet featured in the exhibition L’intime comme illusion, which I curated for the European Month of Photography, at the Galerie Catherine Houard, we were forced to take down a large polyptych that Ducruet produced specifically for this exhibition.
We were very generously invited by Catherine Houard in her gallery, she did not ask to be paid for the use of the space and refused, like myself, to take a percentage on the sales. Jean-François Camp, executive director of the Laboratoire Dupon, oversaw the logistics of the installation. It seemed ill-advised of us to continue with the exhibition as planned, given our inability to judge the seriousness of the threats. Consequently, we removed the offending piece, even though it was displayed in the gallery’s basement.
Following this event, which ruined both the coherence of the exhibition and the visibility of the artist’s work, I wanted to say two things that are very important to me.
First, there once was a tyrannical king who terrorized his subjects, but now, gradually, the subjects are becoming kings themselves. “You’re the king,” a recent subway ad proclaimed. While there are, unfortunately, still thousands of oppressed and forsaken people across the world, there are others who, under the pretext of saying, “I like,” or “I don’t like,” as we do on websites, allow themselves to destroy, without the slightest reflection, work accomplished by others, bullying the producers and organizers of cultural events. In our current society, it is a shame that we are not taught to “read” images, to understand them and hold a rational discussion about them which would avoid unnecessary turmoil.
The second concerns what for me remains the essential: the six photographers—Juliette Agnel, Carolle Benitah, Marie Docher, Diane Ducruet, Vincent Gouriou, Catherine Rebois and Emma Riegert—with whom I’ve had the pleasure over the past year to work on this very good exhibition which is now missing a beautiful polyptych. Make sure you see this amazing show at the Galerie Catherine Houard before it closes. I also encourage you to visit Diane Ducruet’s website, where you can see the exciting work about families which she has been making for over fifteen years.
The artists will be signing exhibition catalogues on Saturday, November 8th at the Galerie Catherine Houard from 14:00 to 18:00, 5 rue Saint Benoit 75006 PARIS.
L’intime comme illusion
Juliette Agnel, Carolle Benitah, Marie Docher
Diane Ducruet, Vincent Gouriou, Catherine Rebois
October 31st – November 2014
Galerie Catherine Houard
15 rue Saint Benoit