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Stark Naked: Photographic nudes


The “nude” photograph is often referred to as perpetuating a “genre” of painting. But what is specifically played in photography is the actual presence, in front of a camera, of a naked body. More than a “naked man or a naked woman”, it is the individually assumed nudity that is exhibited, the fact of being naked and to give oneself as such to the shooting.

What is disturbing, however, is that this photographic nudity is immediately intended for other eyes. Nothing natural indeed in this succession of actions: pose, staging, arrangements and consultations, thoughtful shooting, diffusion or appropriation of the image, curiosity applied to later glances.

What motivations, then, are the photographic modalities of nudity, of what eventual necessity, what desire, what instinct, or what bravado of prohibitions?

This is what this selection wants to examine in the collection of the Lumière des Roses gallery. No history, no sociology, no aesthetics: possible states of corporal nudity. So-called or true models for the fine arts, scientific demonstrations, intimate provocations, light frivolities.

Three logics unfold and telescope, entangled: the model, docile or rebellious, the photographer, bold or casual and that of the future viewer, primary voyeur that we are all, here and now. No innocence in this, which can be erased by the artistic alibi long since passed.

Michel Frizot


Le simple appareil : Nudités photographiques
from 16 October to 7 December 2019
Galerie Lumière des roses
12-14, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
93100 Montreuil

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