w r' . i . .. mi. 4 n An IlIumI ated group of Images by Helen Chadwick which revolves around gender and the body and will hang In front of the altar In the Bellevue Church, Edinburgh. ‘lhe relationship between the Image of three eyes, made of bluebelis In all and milk and the oyster shape above made of buttercups, sets up a sexual tension.‘ Chadwick remarks.
in the middle of constructing their installation. Made out of dimpled bathroom glass structures, each one has a circle sandblasted around head height where films of the seaside will be projected. The work will appear like a cross between confessional cubicles and seaside beach huts. ‘We live beside the sea‘, says Scullion. ‘and there are many people who are outsiders, who have strange hobbies. They are allowed to flourish in that environment. This work is a celebration of the outsider and also offers the chance for participants to maybe shed something and share in what they will see in the films.’
Another fascinating angle to ‘Public and Private’ is work by a number of artists which wasn’t meant to be seen. Photographs by Pierre Moliner will be exhibited on the second floor of the French Institute in a room painted deep boudoir pink. His work was a fun exercise for
This exhibition will confound as well as inform. Provocative, personal and profound, ‘PublIc and Private’ can be swallowed whole or just nibbled.
him and a few of his friends and includes images of men kitted out as female prostitutes.
Probably the most immediately striking of all is the work of Pierre and Gilles. Parodying the kitsch insincerity of commercial photography. they create huge colour plates that toy with grand emotion. ‘They show how emotion can be completely de-fused and create works which look almost like calendars.‘ says Martine Beugnet, curator of the French Institute. ‘The subjects are often crying but the pieces are touched-up and re-worked to show absolutely no feeling.’
This exhibition will confound as well as inform. Provocative, personal and profound. ‘Public and Private' can be swallowed whole or just nibbled. “It’s really multi-faceted,’ Lindsay Lewis of Stills Gallery points out. We hope people may just come across it outside gallery spaces, like in Bellevue Church or in the Gas showroom. and just dip in. There is also going to be an open forum for discussion of the work and the questions it raises, and also guided tours. It’s a bit of an adventure really.’
Public and Private is at various venues around Edinburgh. See Art Listings for details.
12 The List 4—l7 June I993
Anne Testut's le Musée Grevin. ‘There is great humour and warmth In most of the work.‘
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
Lila Rawlings takes a look at two of the photographers whose work is featured in Intimate Lives: Photographers and their Families.
ike it or not. our families shape our lives and make us what we are. Whether we embrace our family ties or reject them, these primal relationships stay with us and affect our emotional lives from childhood to old age.
Photography has always had a special place in the recording of family life. Since Fox Talbot’s pioneering photographs ofdaily life at Laycock Abbey. the camera has been used to record special occasions that inevitany bring families together. We all have albums or shoe boxes full of family snaps. photographs that have even ‘created‘ memories for us or act as hard evidence that our happiest recollections did actually happen and are not just imagined dreams or longings.
The feelings inspired by our most intimate family snaps have been explored, reworked and developed through the eyes of eight professional photographers in Intimate Lives : Photographers and their Families. This diverse and powerful collection of photographs contains some ofthe greatest work in this genre from masters, such as Jacques-Henri Lartigue to new work from young contemporaries such as Scotland’s Colin Gray and a specially commissioned series by Maud Sulter. All the work deals with the myths and attitudes that
surround the family as a cultural institution in contrast to the photographer’s personal experience of family life. There is great humour and warmth in most of the work, especially that of the French photographer Anne Testut.
Particularly impressive is a selection from her photographic tableaux ‘Descendence’, a narrative series in which Testut’s mother and father play themselves while a collection of nephews and nieces re-create the childhood games and comfortable family lives of their own parents. The figures stand in static poses like waxwork dummies or museum exhibits, a homage to the passing of time through generations of family life. The installation piece. ‘The Judges and The Parents and Children‘, is again concerned with time and change and uses a new ‘velvet‘ colour printing technique which gives an intriguing warmth to a number of the prints.
Taken just a few weeks before the death of the photographer’s father. the piece sets the nine young adults up as judges of their parents and grand-parents and one is reminded of Oscar Wilde’s comment ‘children begin by loving their parents, after a time they judge them; rarely. if ever, do they forgive them’.
Sally Mann’s controversial book Immediate