chemise. In Knifed to Death I. a man’s hand is seen palm-up. Black fingerprint ink stains his fingers and the blade of the autopsy probe has left a gash in the wrist that looks like stigrnata. Serrano does not spare us any of the gore. In Jane Doe Killed by the Police. we see an anonymous woman in profile. Her flesh is hideously discoloured and damaged and her eye socket empty. Her blonde curls are matted with dried blood. Not surprisingly. this work has inspired some violent reactions. In the

more reasoned arguments. critics have not been able to handle the glossy -

quality of the images. feeling it somehow trivialises the gravity of the subject matter. In other cases. critics who haven’t even seen the work have eagerly jumped onto the sensationalist bandwagon.

Serrano himself. who admits he wanted to turn heel and get the hell out during his first day of photographing. denies any charges of exploiting the defenceless dead. ‘There’s always a fine line between exploration and exploitation as an artist. especially for an artist using a camera because of the feeling of reality that a photograph conveys.’ he says. ‘An artist has to draw their own conclusions as to what is morally acceptable. I felt it was within my moral code to make art of something that we may not necessarily want to look at.‘

Since completing the morgue series. Serrano has returned to his love of creating photographic tableaux. While visiting Vienna recently. he took a trip to Budapest. and finding a quality he hadn’t experienced in any other European city. decided to stay fora while. ‘I wanted to photograph people I saw in the streets in specific locations.‘ he says. ‘These pictures are really about people and places: both are as important.’

In Budapest (The Model). an old woman poses naked. She stands. resting on her walking stick. her head raised in profile. bringing a cigarette to her lips. In the background. another naked woman lies on a mattress. Nothing is given away. there is no context to explain who the figures are or why they are there. Again. with the body of this 84-year- old woman. Serrano shows us something that convention teaches us to avoid looking at. But as Serrano admits. the strangest things have a habit ofgrowing on you: ‘In my apartment in New York. I have a space above a marble fireplace at the foot of my bed where I usually hang a picture that had been borrowed for an exhibition. I needed something to replace it and chose the old woman from Budapest. The first morning I woke up to it. I was so startled that I wondered if I‘d chosen the right image to wake up to every day. Now... I’ve grown attached to her and it seems she’s always belonged there.‘

Budapest (The Model), 1994

Andres Serrano: The Morgue and Other Works, 12 Aug—2 Sept and 5—23 Sept at Portfolio Gallery, 43 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh.

The Guardian Interview with Andres Serrano is on Wed 16 August at 6pm, The Assembly Room, George Street, Edinburgh. 7ickets £5 (£4) from The Assembly Rooms on 0131 226 2428.




Your chance to see some of the best shows in this year's Fringe! You may claim as many different offers as you wish, but only one pair of tickets per voucher, on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED basis. Please take the whole magazine along with you each time. All offers are subject to availability and the individual management’s decision is final. Tickets should be picked up on the day of the performance in each case. ENJOY THE SHOW!


Free tickets available to see the Charlie Chuck Show! on 11th, 12th and 13th Aug (10.30pm). Tickets should be picked up from the Music Box

box office from 11am.

5 pairs of tickets per night.

7:84 THEATRE COMPANY Free tickets to see the Salt Wound on 14th and 15th Aug (5.00pm). Tickets should be picked up from the Pleasance box office from 11am.

5 pairs of tickets per night.


Free tickets and two for the price of one to see the Aussie Dancers on Fri 11th Aug and Sat 12th Aug (7.00pm). Tickets should be picked up from The Palladium box office after 4pm.

10 pairs of each per night.


Two tickets for the price of one to see award winning Rich Hall on Sat 12th Aug (9.00pm). Free tickets on 14th and 15th Aug (9.00pm). Tickets should be picked up from The Fringe Club box office from 7pm.

10 pairs of tickets available per night.


Two tickets for the price of one to see Chopsticks and Beyond on 12th, 14th, 15th & 16th Aug (10.00am). Tickets should be picked up from the BBC box office from 9am.

10 pairs of tickets available per night.


Free tickets available to see Klatwa (The Curse) on 12th, 14th 8. 15th Aug (8.00pm). Tickets should be picked up from Theatre Workshop box office from 10am.

5 pairs of tickets available per night.

The List lI-l7 Aug 199513