Review for Photomonitor: "Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker"

Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan, 1979

Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan, 1979

Published in Photomonitor, 06 March 2015

Somerset House, London 

27 November 2014 - 15 March 2015

Disembodied mannequin legs donning Charles Jourdan stilettos walk across the grainy surface of a vintage polaroid. Suspended in animation, the plastic legs strut along a deserted English boardwalk. Simultaneously eerily present and absent, they quietly echo the eroticism that saturated fashion spreads in the late 1970s while systematically disengaging from the normalization of the sexualization of the female form. This photograph, along with many others from the same series, sets the tone for the Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker exhibition at Somerset House. Both hauntingly distant and familiar, the images speak of the surrealist tendencies of the 1920s, of Alfred Hitchcock’s aesthetic cues, of the fabricated truths that surround consumerism and of fashion photography’s ultimate pursuit of perfection. 

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