The photographer had carte blanche to draw a portrait of the works of the Institut Giacometti in Paris. An intimate and secret correspondence between images, sculptures of the creator.
The photograph that greets the visitor at the entrance of the Giacometti Institute – a beautiful art deco building from the beginning of the 20th century – is a completely blurred image. A blur obviously desired by the photographer who captured a fragment of the sculptor’s studio. This blur says how moving and difficult it is to approach with another eye the work of this titan of the twentieth century, Alberto Giacometti. Peter Lindbergh recreated it very well: he offers a personal and new vision in which the visitor is invited to the show of moving matter, alive, as if the statues of the master had begun to move. Witness this extraordinary triptych representing “The Walking Man”. The photographer has installed a fabric behind the sculpture in such a way that the shadow, in an elegant play of light, comes to project and that the fabric absorbs it. This series of three photographs really gives the illusion that the figure represented is walking. Better: it gives an additional matt effect to the work, as if an aspect of the sculptures of Giacometti was here revealed, their shadow, their share of opacity.
This is what we perceive even more thanks to the large formats that Peter Lindbergh made of small statues of Giacometti. With his photographs, he accentuates the details, emphasizes the knife strokes of the sculptor, on the emaciated form of the faces represented that fix us with serious and melancholy intensity. The photographer manages to capture the soul of these works, themselves inhabited thanks to the sculptor’s gesture, and come back to us with even greater force the bruises of the faces, the frail and hasty bodies, the solitudes frozen in lean silhouettes . Peter Lindbergh also strives to compose encounters between the works. He places statues from different dates of realization, what he calls “a jungle” of Giacometti’s pieces, and draws magnificent portraits as if it were that of a family.
To these photographs, made between 2017 and 2018 in total freedom, the photographer has added representative photographs of his career as a portraitist and a fashion photographer to the Institute’s graphic arts studio, where Giacometti’s drawings are on display. The painter’s obsessive pencil strokes and Peter Lindbergh’s images, portraits of personalities such as Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss, or stolen body fragments, nudity unveiled by a delicate touch. The encounter between Lindbergh’s clichés and Giacometti’s drawings – which the photographer was able to choose for the exhibition – works marvelously well. There is this series of faces that the sculptor has carelessly drawn on a piece of paper and that resonates perfectly with the photograph of a group of models made by Peter Lindbergh. Both know so well the loneliness that can be felt in the middle of a crowd, the correspondence of bodies, the cry of the soul.
“To grasp the invisible”
From January 22 to March 24, 2019 The Giacometti Institute
5 Rue Victor Schoelcher, 75014 Paris