Archives mensuelles : juillet 2015

« Vogueing Is Still Burning Up the Dance Floor in New York »: article du New York Times sur les évolutions du Vogueing

Vogueing Is Still Burning Up the Dance Floor in New York
The dance form evolves stylistically and demographically.


Dancers at the Vogue Knights party at Escuelita. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times


Dancers at the Vogue Knights party at Escuelita. CreditKrista Schlueter for The New York Times
“The whole idea is, I’m fierce and I know it,” Archie Burnett said of the dance style known as vogueing, which he has performed for decades. But don’t confuse that with self-indulgence: “It’s not for your benefit,” he said. “It’s for the camera’s benefit.”


The camera he refers to is metaphorical: Vogueing began as an imitation of models in fashion magazines and on runways. It is part communal tradition, part competition, part personal statement. And occasionally it surfaces as a mainstream pop-culture phenomenon, too — including this summer (just ask Channing Tatum).


Vogueing first strutted into the mainstream in the early ’90s with Jennie Livingston’s documentary “Paris Is Burning” and the music video for Madonna’s “Vogue.” The film showcased the dance as a central feature of the underground Harlem ballroom scene, populated primarily by black and Latino gay men, a scene that blossomed in the 1980s and has roots reaching back decades.


In 1990, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, the community organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis gave a party called the Latex Ball with the goal of distributing health information to denizens of the ballroom scene, who were hit hard by the disease. On Saturday, the Latex Ball celebrates its 25th anniversary at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen.


A scene from the film "Paris Is Burning." Credit Miramax

A scene from the film « Paris Is Burning. » Credit Miramax


While the ball honors vogueing’s pioneers, it also reflects the ways that the dance has evolved stylistically and demographically: its global expansion; the increasing participation of women; and a shift to bolder, more acrobatic dancing.


One catalyst for renewed interest was the 2009 appearance of the dance troupe Vogue Evolution on the MTV reality show “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Dashaun Wesley, a troupe member, instructed Mr. Tatum in the art of vogue for the film “Magic Mike XXL.” He says social media and the Internet, particularly YouTube, are partly responsible for vogueing’s revival. “That gave us the opportunity to reach people who weren’t reachable before,” he said.


But some in the ballroom scene are wary of the form’s renewed popularity, which they fear removes vogueing from its cultural context. “You can’t learn a lifestyle in a couple of days,” said Mr. Burnett. He and others teaching vogueing in dance studios in New York and abroad are trying to share the form’s history and focus on its essence: the empowering poses, the expression of a personal story and the projection of confidence.


“That’s the foundation, the blueprint,” said the voguer Luna Khan. “And we don’t want that to die off.”


Here are four sites where vogueing thrives, each illuminating aspects of the dance and questions about its mainstream embrace.



Voguers at Escuelita. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times


The Club


On Monday nights at Escuelita, a subterranean club on 39th Street, about 200 people crowd around a small dance floor for weekly vogue battles. (Doors open at 11 p.m., but the competition doesn’t begin until around 1 a.m.) Cash prizes are awarded for Virgin Vogue (first-timers), Women’s Vogue, Hand Performance and O.T.A. (“open to all”). The vogueing here, and at balls, has become increasingly acrobatic, to the chagrin of some. The new vogue is “about the things that give you an immediate ‘Wow,’ ” said Mr. Burnett, a veteran dancer. “Back in the earlier days, it was more about the intensity of what you’re doing and the belief of what you’re doing.” Javier Ninja, who teaches vogueing around the world, agreed: “It’s lost its essence. It used to be about performance. Give them a story, with a beginning, middle and end.”

Javier Ninja leads a class at the Broadway Dance Center. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times

Javier Ninja leads a class at the Broadway Dance Center. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times


The Class


Dance studios across the city have added vogueing to their schedules in response to student demand. Javier Ninja, whose real name is Javier Madrid, teaches a class at the Broadway Dance Center, which is frequently filled with women. “There have always been women in the scene, but not a surplus of women as it is now,” said Kia Labeija, who won in the popular and competitive women’s vogueing category at last year’s Latex Ball.


Mr. Burnett, who teaches at Peridance Capezio Center, said studio employment would help a generation of dancers. “They’re making a living, paying bills, teaching the culture,” he said. “That never could have happened in my time.”


Voguers at the Latex Ball in 2011. Credit Rebecca Smeyne

Voguers at the Latex Ball in 2011. Credit Rebecca Smeyne


The Ball


“It’s a big community health fair, ball, family affair and reunion,” Mr. Khan said of the Latex Ball, which he has helped organize for the past eight years. “We celebrate each other.” But it is also a battleground. The ball features the city’s premier vogueing competition, and of the roughly 2,500 attendees, around 100 will do combat on the dance floor. Their weapons: slashing arms, sudden drops to the floor and ferocious stares. A panel of judges — veterans of the scene — will crown a winner based on musicality, originality and attitude. They’ll also be looking for key elements: catwalks (traipsing on an imaginary runway); duckwalks (bouncing on toes in a squatting position); hands (in circles, waves, lines and taps); dips (like the punishing, and popular, death drop); and floor work (rolls, crawls and splayed legs).

A still from Madonna's "Vogue" video.

A still from Madonna’s « Vogue » video.


The Screen


Madonna’s “Vogue” video, directed by David Fincher, put an international spotlight on vogueing. Today, Madonna continues to showcase the form in its modern guise: Her recent performances have included the female Japanese voguers Aya Sato and Bambi. Some in the scene have mixed feelings about Madonna’s video, which they feel borrows vogueing’s attitude and visual appeal while erasing the struggles of the mostly poor, black and Latino gay men who created the dance. “Our community has been used for other people’s profit,” the voguer Julian De La Blanca said. And some, including those teaching, worry that YouTube videos and studio classes will distill the dance to its flashy moves. “With the appropriation there’s also the loss of histories,” said the voguer Kia Labeija, referring to the decades of social stigma within which the scene developed.




Article sur « Dirty Looks », série d’interventions queer à New York en juillet

Cheers Queers


Left: Filmmaker Vanessa Haroutunian, Dirty Looks creative director Bradford Nordeen, and designer Tiffany Malakooti. (Photo: Sam Richardson) Right: JD Samson at the Rusty Knot. (Photo: Alex Fialho)

“TOO MANY QUEERS, too many screenings, too little time,” joked a Dirty Looks audience member last week. This month, to celebrate its biannual On Location series, there’s a screening every day (thirty-one in all), as the itinerant initiative shows rarely seen queer moving-image work in some of New York’s gay-cruising/art-viewing landmarks. Creative director Bradford Nordeen’s Dirty Looks provides a platform for more than innuendo; over the past five years the organization has proved one of the best forums for experimental queer cinema in New York City and beyond.“The films are fantastic, but it’s really their pairing with screening locations that makes Dirty Looks what it is,” said artist and longtime New York resident Adrian Saich. “Most of these places have emotional importance for us.” On Location’s itinerary is a veritable scavenger hunt through New York’s queer scenes, dropping in on historic haunts such as the Stonewall Inn and Julius in the West Village and engaging new hotspots like the Spectrum and Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn. 

Four recent screenings provided a perspective into Dirty Looks’ wide-ranging demographics. July 5 brought us to the Rusty Knot for Neil Goldberg’s She’s a Talker, curated by Theodore Kerr and Carl Williamson. The scene was Scissor Sundays, a weekly party thrown by musician/provocateur JD Samson and Amber Valentine replete with coconut cocktails, nautical interiors, and sunset views of the Hudson River. “It looks like Fire Island in here,” said Vice photo editor Matthew Leifheit as he gazed at the crowd of tank-topped twinks in boat shoes.


Left: Poet Pamela Sneed at Maysles Cinema. Right: Filmmaker Barbara Hammer and friends at Maysles Cinema. (Photos: Alex Fialho)


Goldberg’s two-minute video is a supercut montage of eighty gay men petting their cats while musing, “She’s a talker.” Created in 1993—well before the Internet’s obsession with cat memes—the work evinces the losses ravaged during the height of the AIDS crisis. The refrain speaks to the time’s fraught emotional intimacy—many of the felines are stand-in companions for the lonesome sitters’ former partners.


The Rusty Knot’s location in the once gay epicenter of the West Village made the AIDS context all the more palpable. The decision to stage the “intervention” during Scissor Sundays meant that less than half the bar was there for the screening. Without an informative introduction, drunken revelers laughed their way through (and at) the cat-friendly video, and the emotional poignancy felt mostly lost.


The charged dynamic between crowd and context continued uptown at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem during the following night’s screening: “Misadventures in Black Dyke Dating in the 1990s,” a compelling program of shorts by queer black filmmakers Cheryl Dunye, Jocelyn Taylor, Dawn Suggs, and Shari Frilot. More than one hundred viewers, including poet Pamela Sneed and filmmaker Barbara Hammer, filled the theater to well over capacity, requiring the organizers to open a downstairs auxiliary space for a simulcast. Program curatorVivian Crockett bravely began the evening by encouraging those in the air-conditioned upstairs theater to trade seats with any of the queer, black women who remained downstairs. More than half of the attendees scuttled downstairs, their privileged identity positions in tow.


Left: Audience at “Misadventures in Black Dyke Dating in the 1990s.” (Photo: Sam Richardson) Right: Filmmaker Jim Hubbard and critic Sand Avidar at the Eagle. (Photo: Alex Fialho)

The program’s “misadventures” moniker rang true, as the many Mses in the shorts navigated everything from interracial affairs to familial misunderstandings. Cheers were loudest when credits to Dawn Suggs’s I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To read, “This film is dedicated to black lesbians everywhere,” and the hour-long postscreening discussion included some uncomfortable yet productive discussions and testimonies around identity politics, safe spaces, and the woes of falling “victim to lesbian serial monogamy.”Dirty Looks’ July 8 event assembled an equally populous yet entirely different demographic, as bearded gay men packed the dimly lit Eagle in Chelsea for a projection of Wakefield Poole’s 1972 gay porn Bijou. ArtistRebecca Levi, one of the few women in attendance, noted that Dirty Looks screenings are often chock-full of cuties but also suffused with body odor. Yet the fervent armpit licking occurring in the Eagle’s back corner demonstrated that not everyone was discouraged by the summer sweat. 

The titular Bijou in the East Village was for decades a popular underground cinema for gay cruising. Filmmaker Jim Hubbard recounted the “sexual nooks and crannies” of the now defunct theater, smiling as he noted that one could even have sex behind the video projection screen.


Left: Dirty Looks event producer Sam Richardson and Dirty Looks core curators Clara López Menéndez and Karl McCool. (Photo: Alex Fialho) Right: Dirty Looks curator Vivian Crockett and Lesbian Herstory Archives archivist Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz. (Photo: Sam Richardson)


Poole’s porn is a hallucinogenic maze of sexual escapades set to a melodramatic sound track. Violin crescendos accompany Technicolor six-somes, and the length of the protagonist’s appendage was the talk of the night. Watching gay porn in a room full of art fags felt, unsurprisingly, pretentious and unsexy, exemplified when one viewer shushed the audience when others’ flirting impeded his viewing experience. In stark contrast to habitués of the original Bijou, this group was focused on watching those on screen get off as opposed to using the darkened screening context as an opportunity to play themselves. Music from the Eagle’s “Jockstrap Wednesday” party blasted over the final minutes of Bijou, and the evening eventually continued upstairs with far less clothing and far more action.


Thursday’s screening at Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, curated by Carmel Curtis, featured politically minded archival footage of drag queen Joan Jett Blakk’s announcement of her presidential campaign in 1992 paired with trans activist Sylvia Rivera documenting her gay homeless camp in the West Village in 1995. Blakk ran for the “orifice of the President of the United States” under the slogan “Lick Bush in ’92.” Citing Ronald Reagan, Blakk asks (quite reasonably): “If a bad actor can be elected president, why not a good drag queen?” Between gags, the tongue-in-cheek speech calls out the underrepresentation of queers in politics. The proceeding footage of riveting trans lightning rod Sylvia Rivera provided a fitting counterpoint, with Rivera lambasting mainstream norms as well as the larger gay community for turning a blind eye to the homeless queers occupying the shantytown where she lived. An engaging discussion led by the media-preservation collective XFR on the impartiality of archives followed the screening. The audience sported activist couture like a pink PRISON ABOLITION snapback and an ACT UP “The Government Has Blood on Its Hands” shirt. In our gay-marriage era, it’s reassuring to know spaces like those fostered by Dirty Looks can be a forum for queerer politics to make a comeback.


Alex Fialho

Left: Curator Carl Williamson and Bradford Nordeen at the Rusty Knot. (Photo: Alex Fialho) Right: Dirty Looks CuratorCarmel Curtis introduces MoCADA screening. (Photo: Sam Richardson)



Left: ICA Philadelphia director Amy Sadao, Visual AIDS executive director Nelson Santos, Richard Presser, and artists Jeanine Oleson and Lucas Michael at the Rusty Knot. Right: Artist Carlos Motta and art historian Jack McGrath. (Photos: Alex Fialho)



Left: Artist Ryan McNamara at the Eagle. (Photo: Alex Fialho) Right: Rusty Knot audience. (Photo: JD Samson)



Left: Bijou audience at the Eagle. (Photo: Sam Richardson) Right: Artist J Morrison and designer Riley Hooker at the Rusty Knot. (Photo: Alex Fialho).

« Dirty Looks: On Location » : Une série d’interventions queer à New York en juillet

Dirty Looks: On Location is a series of queer intervention in New York City spaces. Over the course of July, artist film and video will appear in these queer social spaces and former sites of queer sociality (like shuttered bars, bathhouses, and former meeting zones). A new piece, a different setting on each night of July. The summer in New York is hot, sticky and social. Installing moving image works around the city in bars, centers and « haunted » venues allows for the free flow of viewers to engage and celebrate with work, in evening events that commemorate contemporary moving-image production and its precedents in queer culture.

Dirty Looks is a bi-coastal platform for queer experimental film, video and performance. A roaming screening series, DL is an open platform for inquiry, discussion and debate. Designed to trace contemporary queer aesthetics through historical works, Dirty Looks presents quintessential GLBT film and video, alongside up-and-coming artists and filmmakers. Dirty Looks exhibits a lineage of queer tactics and visual styles for younger artists, casual viewers and seasoned avant-garde filmgoers, alike.

Over the course of five years, Dirty Looks NYC has staged local screening initiatives at The Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, Participant Inc, White Columns, Artists Space and Judson Memorial Church, with a Roadshow touring the West Coast yearly. DL: Los Angeles was launched in January 2015 – instating a national reach for these programs.


Plus d’informations:



Wie wenn am Feiertage / If we took a holiday Tabea Blumenschein, Kerstin Drechsel, Nancy Jones – 18 Juillet au 22 août à Berlin

Kurator: Laurence A. Rickels


Eröffnung (Vernissage): 17. Juli 2015, 19 bis 21 Uhr
18. Juli bis 22. August 2015, Di-Sa 12 -18 Uhr


Die Künstlerinnen im Gespräch
Kerstin Drechsel: Samstag, den 1. August, 18 Uhr
Nancy Jones: Samstag, den 8. August, 18 Uhr
Tabea Blumenschein: Samstag, den 22. August, 18 Uhr



Hölderlin’s Wie wenn am Feiertage extolls the vocation of the artist but by its incomplete status withholds confirmation of this calling. There is as yet a toll to pay. The artist runs up against a boundary in her source, her inspiration or Begeisterung. Heidegger highlights the Geister that are summoned within inspiration, which we can count, given Hölderlin’s abandonment of this work, as less spiritual and way more ghostly, in other words: more identifiable.
What I take from Hölderlin’s work of incompletion, and transfer to the show featuring work by Tabea Blumenschein, Kerstin Drechsel, and Nancy Jones, is the ghostly wrap of the holiday, a family outing, in which mother (nature), father (god), and child (artist) jostle one another for precedence in time and memory. Hence rather than attempt to render in English the untranslatable title, the first line of Hölderlin’s poem, I cite instead a “matching” first line from Madonna’s Holiday.
Hölderlin, too, personalizes the close quarters of nature, time, inspiration, and art via the myth of the birth of Bacchus. Semele bound her lover Zeus to grant her wish that she witness his divine glory. Her wish was fulfilled by the bolt that incinerated her. The fetal Bacchus survived Semele’s blasting and was carried to term sewn inside his father’s thigh. In adolescence Bacchus retrieved his mother from Hades: together they hosted the teen orgy cult organized around the fire water of inspiration. Her role was as Stimula (her name when in Rome), goading the cult members to find the affirmation in transgression.
According to Hölderlin, the artist gives a form to the fateful bolt and bestows it on the public without the same risk. “Und daher trinken himmlisches Feuer jetzt/Die Erdensöhne ohne Gefahr.“ The artist mediates between the danger zone of inspiration and the happy inspiration to take “some time to celebrate, just one day out of life, it would be, it would be so nice.”
The doubling back across the comma upon “it would be” echoes the coming of all the forces summoned by Hölderlin’s poem: “Des gemeinsamen Geistes Gedanken sind,/Still endend in der Seele des Dichters.” The highpoint of Heidegger’s reading follows:


Mit Bedacht hat Hölderlin nach dem „sind“ ein Komma gesetzt. Wie ein unscheinbarer Meißelschlag des Bildhauers dem Gebilde ein anderes Gepräge verleiht, so legt dieses Komma ein eigenes Gewicht in das „sind“. Die „erwachende Natur“, die „Begeisterung“ ist gegenwärtig. Und die Art ihrer Gegenwart ist das Kommen.

The comma Hölderlin and Madonna wield, and which Heidegger carries forward, applies, like the blow of the sculptor’s chisel, a weight/wait of its own. It also draws a curve, a drawing to be continued, turning the landscape into a body, a face. “You can turn this world around.” Unlike the bolt of the period at the end of a sentencing, the comma staggers wish fulfillment, turns the binding word around, and invites the Geister of inspiration, the identifiable ghosts of once and future holidays, to come and join in.


It’s time for the good times


Forget about the bad times, oh yeah
One day to come together
To release the pressure
We need a holiday

Zwinger Galerie
Mansteinstraße 5
D-10783 Berlin


L’artiste Nona Faustine pose nue dans New York pour rappeler l’histoire de l’esclavage

Article reproduit depuis:


Dans une démarche insolite et plutôt osée, la photographe afro-américaine Nona Faustine a posé complètement nue dans certains lieux emblématiques de New York liés à l’histoire de l’esclavage. Portraits.


© Nona Faustine  » Over My Dead Body  » (« Sur mon cadavre »), portrait devant le New York City Hall (Hôtel de ville de New York, construit sur un site où l’on enterrait des esclaves).


La série d’autoportraits de Nona Faustine s’intitule « White Shoes ». « Chaussures blanches », comme celles qu’elle porte sur les photos où sa nudité est publiquement exposée. Avec les chaussures, un autre accessoire apparaît souvent : les fers, les chaînes, par lesquels les esclaves étaient contraints. L’histoire de l’esclavage dans la ville de New York est le thème de la série photographique de l’artiste. Nona Faustine n’a en effet posé que dans des lieux liés à cette histoire. Qui savait par exemple que Wall Street s’est bâti sur un ancien marché aux esclaves ? Que l’hôtel de ville de New York reposait sur un site où des esclaves étaient enterrés ? « Inscrit dans une tradition photographique tout en questionnant la culture qui a engendré cette tradition, mon travail traverse les lignes du passé et du présent », écrit Nona Faustine. « A travers l’autoportrait j’explore les questions du corps noir dans la photographie et dans l’histoire ».


« From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth » ("De son corps jaillit leur plus grande richesse"). Autoportrait à Wall Street, où se trouvait un marché aux esclaves. © Nona Faustine

© Nona Faustine « From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth » (« De son corps jaillit leur plus grande richesse »). Autoportrait à Wall Street, où se trouvait un marché aux esclaves.

« L’esclavage est de l’ordre de la controverse » expliquait aussi l’artiste dans une interview à Dodge and Burn. « C’est un sujet dont nous essayons de ne pas discuter en Amérique. Cela gêne les gens. Vous pouvez voir le changement sur leurs visages quand vous le mentionnez, et le rôle que cela joue sur nos psychologies abîmées. Le fait que l’on me dise de ne pas évoquer l’esclavage, qui a inspiré mon projet, m’indique tout ce que je dois savoir. Il y a des blessures qui ne sont pas encore complètement cicatrisées, et les conséquences négatives de cette histoire sont toujours avec nous ».

"Of My Body I Will Make Monuments In Your Honor" ("De mon corps je ferai des monuments en votre honneur"). Installation temporaire représentant Nona Faustine dans un cimetière hollandais de Brooklyn, où trois esclaves furent enterrés parmi des colons. © Nona Faustine

© Nona Faustine « Of My Body I Will Make Monuments In Your Honor » (« De mon corps je ferai des monuments en votre honneur »). Installation temporaire représentant Nona Faustine dans un cimetière hollandais de Brooklyn, où trois esclaves furent enterrés parmi des colons.

« L’autre controverse est celle liée à mon corps de femme, obèse, noir, nu et exposé au regard. Bien souvent les gens n’aiment pas le voir car ça entraîne beaucoup de réactions émotionnelles. Ces deux controverses – l’esclavage et le corps – oblitèrent la nature de mon travail dans certains milieux », ajoutait la photographe.


"Judgement Day", photo prise devant le siège de la Cour suprême à New York. © Nona Faustine

© Nona Faustine « Judgement Day », photo prise devant le siège de la Cour suprême à New York.


Bio express

Nona Faustine est née et a grandi dans le quartier de Brooklyn. Elle est diplômée de la très cotée School of Visual Arts (Ecole des Arts visuels) de New York. Sa démarche s’inscrit dans l’étude de l’histoire et des traditions afro-américaines, ainsi que des questions de genre et d’identité. Nona Faustine est l’auteur entre autres des séries « Mitochondrial » (trois générations de femmes vivant ensemble en famille, sa mère, sa fille et elle) et « White Shoes », autoportraits sur des sites historiques liés à l’esclavage dans la ville de New York. Son travail a été présenté dans de nombreuses galeries d’art et de photographie. (Son site Internet ici).


« Like A Pregnant Corpse The Ship Expelled Her Into Patriarchy », ("Tel un cadavre enceinte le bateau l’expédia dans le patriarcat"). Photo prise sur la côte Atlantique à Brooklyn. © Nona Faustine

© Nona Faustine « Like A Pregnant Corpse The Ship Expelled Her Into Patriarchy », (« Tel un cadavre enceinte le bateau l’expédia dans le patriarcat »). Photo prise sur la côte Atlantique à Brooklyn. (Son site Internet ici).

Germaine Krull (1897-1985) Un destin de photographe, jusqu’au 27 septembre au Jeu de Paume


Autoportrait à l'Icarette Vers 1925 Germaine Krull

Autoportrait à l’Icarette
Vers 1925
Germaine Krull


Étude publicitaire pour Paul Poiret 1926 Germaine Krull

Étude publicitaire pour Paul Poiret
Germaine Krull


Rue Auber à Paris vers 1928 Germaine Krull

Rue Auber à Paris
vers 1928
Germaine Krull


Usine électrique Issy les Moulineaux 1928 Germaine Krull

Usine électrique Issy les Moulineaux
Germaine Krull


Germaine Krull dans sa voiture, Monte-Carlo 1937 Anonyme

Germaine Krull dans sa voiture, Monte-Carlo


André Malraux 1930 Germaine Krull

André Malraux
Germaine Krull




Germaine Krull (1897-1985) est une des photographes les plus connues de l’histoire de la photographie, pour sa participation aux avant-gardes des années 1920-1940, et l’une des femmes-photographes les plus célèbres. La publication de son portfolioMétal en 1928, sa présence à l’exposition « Film und Foto » en 1929 sont les événements le plus souvent rappelés, qui l’inscrivent de fait comme l’une des égéries de la « modernité » photographique.

Et pourtant l’œuvre de Krull est l’une des moins étudiées, à la différence de celle de Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy ou Kertész. Cela tient à une carrière courte et chaotique – une vingtaine d’années actives en France, avec un climax d’à peine cinq ans, puis les quarante dernières années en Asie, où les liens avec le milieu photographique sont presque rompus –, et aussi à la dispersion de ses tirages, comme à l’absence d’un fonds d’archives complet et bien identifié. Peu d’expositions ont eu lieu : les deux premières, succinctes, en 1977 (Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn) et 1988 (par Christian Bouqueret, musée Réattu, Arles), et la rétrospective de 1999, montée à partir de ses archives déposées au Folkwang Museum d’Essen (présentée à Munich, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Paris) dont le catalogue développe la biographie autour des notions d’« avant-garde » et de « modernité ».

Il s’agit aujourd’hui de rendre compte de l’œuvre éclatée d’une femme-photographe politiquement ancrée à gauche, énergique, engagée, voyageuse, dont l’engagement photographique est à l’opposé d’une revendication esthétique, artistique ou interprétative du type Bauhaus ou surréalisme. Selon ses propres termes, « le vrai photographe, c’est le témoin de tous les jours, c’est le reporter » (ce propos ouvre paradoxalement son livre Études de nu, en 1930).

Il est essentiel de montrer que Germaine Krull travaille constamment en vue de la publication de ses photographies : on sait l’importance du magazine VU lancé en 1928, auquel elle participe dès le début (280 photographies reproduites dans VU), et qui lui permet d’élaborer, avec Kertész et Lotar, cette forme du « reportage » qui lui convient tellement. Mais afin de vivre de ses photographies, elle participe à de nombreuses autres publications, comme les magazines Jazz (76 photographies sur 17 numéros),Variétés, Paris-Magazine, Art et Médecine, Voilà, L’Art vivant, La France à table, etc.

Et surtout, fait notoire, elle innove par la publication de livres photographiques ou portfolios dont elle est l’unique auteur : Métal(1928) 100 x Paris (1929), Études de nu (1930), Le Valois (1930), La Route Paris-Biarritz (1931), Marseille (1935), ainsi que le premier photo-roman avec Simenon, La Folle d’Itteville (1931) : ces publications à elles seules regroupent près de 500 photos. Ses images illustrent d’autre part de nombreux autres livres, notamment sur Paris (Paris, 1928 ; Visages de Paris, 1930 ; Paris under 4 Arstider, 1930 ; La Route de Paris Méditerranée, 1931).

L’œuvre de Krull est donc profondément liée à l’apparition de formes innovantes du reportage et de l’illustration photographique autour de 1930 ; ce qui n’exclut pas de participer avec les mêmes images à des expositions où la photographie est reconnue comme une activité artistique autonome.

L’exposition « Germaine Krull » propose une nouvelle lecture de son œuvre en rééquilibrant une vision artistique intégrée à l’avant-garde et une fonction médiatique et illustrative (de laquelle se nourrissent aussi les mouvements modernes comme le surréalisme ou le constructivisme). Le parcours proposé par l’exposition concernera principalement la période de pleine activité photographique 1926-1933, en évoquant aussi son travail au service de la France Libre, jusqu’en 1945 et la période ultérieure, lorsqu’elle vit en Asie.
L’exposition sera constituée d’environ 130 tirages d’époque, et de nombreux extraits de livres et magazines rendant compte des intentions et des imaginaires de la photographe.
La présentation chronologique s’articulera autour des thèmes propres à Germaine Krull, qui sont aussi symptomatiques de son rôle moderniste :
– l’architecture métallique,
– le nu féminin,
– les vues urbaines et le trafic automobile, notamment à Paris et Marseille, qui exploitent les principes de déconstruction de l’espace de la Nouvelle Vision,
– les « documents de la vie sociale » : les clochards, la zone, les halles, les bals, les métiers, etc.,
– la femme et la condition féminine (ouvrières de Paris, nombreux portraits),
– la route, l’un des ses thèmes récurrents de reportage (avec certaines photographies prises depuis la fenêtre du véhicule),
Cette présentation permettra d’apprécier la continuité et les constantes du travail de Germaine Krull, son rôle dans l’épanouissement des formes photographiques, tout en mettant en valeur ses innovations esthétiques et l’indépendance de ses conceptions photographiques, dans un esprit d’émancipation et avec une volonté de partage immédiat par les publications.

Commissaire : Michel Frizot, historien de la photographie
Partenaires : Exposition réalisée par le Jeu de Paume.

Partenaires médias : A NOUS PARIS, de l’air, Time Out Paris, TSF Jazz.



Exposition Agnes Martin à la Tate Modern, Londres – Jusqu’au 11 octobre


Agnes Martin Friendship 1963 incised gold leaf and gesso on canvasMuseum of Modern Art, New York



Agnes Martin is perhaps most recognised for her evocative paintings marked out in subtle pencil lines and pale colour washes. Although restrained, her style was underpinned by her deep conviction in the emotive and expressive power of art. Martin believed that spiritual inspiration and not intellect created great work. ‘Without awareness of beauty, innocence and happiness’ Martin wrote ‘one cannot make works of art’.



Agnes Martin Untitled 1959 Oil on canvas© Estate of Agnes Martin/DACS, London, 1915


Martin lived and worked in New York, becoming a key figure in the male-dominated fields of 1950s and 1960s abstraction. Then in 1967, just as her art was gaining acclaim, Martin abandoned the city and went in search of solitude and silence. For almost two years she travelled across the US and Canada before finally settling in New Mexico as Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, DH Lawrence and Edward Hopper had done before her. Working within tightly prescribed limits she imposed on her own practice Martin was able to continue to make extraordinary, visionary paintings, for over three decades until her death in 2004.



Happy Holiday 1999 Agnes Martin 1912-2004 ARTIST ROOMS  Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

Agnes Martin Happy Holiday 1999 Acrylic and graphite on canvas support: 1525 x 1525 x 40 mm frame: 1545 x 1545 x 50 mm ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 Estate of Agnes Martin / DACS, 2009


This is the first retrospective of Martin’s work since 1994. Covering the full breadth of her practice, this extensive exhibition will reveal Martin’s early and little known experiments with different media and trace her development from biomorphic abstraction to the mesmerising grid and striped canvases that became her hallmark.




Agnes Martin Untitled #3 1974 Acrylic, graphite and gesso on canvasDes Moines Art Center, Iowa



« Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play », jusqu’au 23 août à New York


The Pleasure of Play is the most comprehensive Tom of Finland survey exhibition to date, spanning six decades to include more than 180 drawings, 1930s childhood paper dolls, the full set of 1940s gouaches along with triptychs, individual drawings, storyboards and over 300 reference pages.

Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland (1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki), was a child of grammar school teachers and grew up in rural Finland. At the age of 19 he enrolled in a distance learning advertising course. Soon drafted, he joined the Finnish Army in its fight against the Soviet invasion. After the war he stayed in Helsinki, studying classical piano at the renowned Sibelius Academy. While at the Academy, Tom of Finland worked as freelance graphic designer, later becoming senior art director at the Helsinki office of the global advertising agency McCann Erickson.




While living life as an adman in Helsinki, his global career as an iconic gay figure was jumpstarted in 1950s Los Angeles, through his ongoing contributions to Bob Mizer’s publication Physique Pictorial. From the 1960s onwards, he frequently published his now well-known comic series with the Danish publishing house DFT, COQ International and the Swedish Revolt Press, and later through his own Tom of Finland Company.

In 1978, Tom of Finland had his first New York exhibition at Stompers, a boots store in the West Village. His first gallery exhibition was at Feyway Studios, San Francisco, where Tom of Finland was befriended by Robert Mapplethorpe, who in 1980 helped him get his first major New York exhibition at Robert Samuel Gallery.



During his 17 years at McCann, a job he quit in 1973, Tom of Finland started traveling extensively throughout Europe. On his many trips, particularly to London, Hamburg and Berlin, he would take his drawings to sell or to gift to men that he met in the local gay scene, thus proliferating his work while establishing an underground distribution network, and with it a network of friends and admirers. From the 1970s onwards Tom of Finland began to visit the US more frequently. While he never permanently resided in the states, during the last decade of his life he spent equal time between Helsinki and Los Angeles.


Tom of Finland’s biography parallels pivotal moments of 20th century (gay) history, bearing witness to the disasters, the turmoil and the radical changes that took place during his lifetime. Indeed, his work stands in dialectical relationship to these events and the often oppressive culture that surrounded him.


Starting from an early age, Tom of Finland played with the iconographic conventions upon which both the representation and the very conception of masculinity are based. His emblematic, larger-than-life drawn phalluses threaten not only the existing symbolic order of heterosexuality, but also reorganize the principles by which (homo)sexual desires are structured. This fearless portrait of sexuality can also be read as a portrait of the sadomasochistic relationship that is at play between culture and subculture itself, an aspect that runs through gay culture of the 20th and 21st centuries as much as it is present in Tom of Finland’s biography and work.


Working from 1956 to 1973 as senior art director at one of the first global advertising agencies, it is likely that Tom of Finland had access to a range of global mainstream publications as well as illegally published early gay magazines – both from which he would meticulously cut out details and compose on single pages to later use as studies, or as he called them, reference pages.


It is telling that many of these cutouts are taken from global print campaigns; Tom of Finland seemingly studying and taking apart the representations of maleness and gender-assigned attributes in mainstream media, and fusing them with cutouts from gay periodicals. Originally separated into binders, the majority of these collages were sorted by distinct taxonomies: leather jackets, motorcycles, uniforms, beards, hairdos and so forth. On rare occasions he also drew directly onto these cutouts,to either amplify or reduce the existing attributes.

In some respects the collages are key to an understanding of Tom of Finland’s work. During the day (at least until 1973), as an acclaimed advertising executive Tom of Finland was involved hands-on in creating the hetero-normative vision of the happy suburban family of the late 1950s; while at night, he would cut up the very basis of his own work (print advertising) to study, to analyze and to categorize – turning these reference pages towards the exact opposite of their origin. One aspect of Tom of Finland’s drawings is that the faces of his protagonists feature a familiar, recognizable likeness – these bold, grinning faces, while in the act of sadomasochistic play, present a fearless vision of sexuality pointing towards the culture that constructed the relationship between sexuality and fear in the first place.



Because of Tom of Finland’s compound status as artist and sub-culture icon, his work has for years been admired by many artists including the late Mike Kelley, who in 1988 invited him to speak at CalArts (documentation of which is on view at Artists Space Books & Talks); Raymond Pettibon, who became a lifetime supporter of the Tom of Finland Foundation; as well as Richard Hawkins, who continues to work with the Foundation today.

Artists Space Exhibitions
38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor
New York
NY 10013


Article sur l’exposition:


En collaboration avec