Exhibition catalogue, The Becket Pictures, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (France), 2017
Texts by Jean-Charles Vergne and Michel Poivert ( English and French)
Editions FRAC Auvergne, 2017
Hardcover, 30,5 x 25 cm
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In his latest series Cathedral of the Pines, Gregory Crewdson’s personal story and return to his family retreat have fueled his imagination and enabled him to project its representations. The images, however, are radically anti-intimate in their format, precision, and allegorical character. Such extimité, to cite the Lacanian notion inverting the principle of intimacy, prompts us to examine the artist’s aesthetic approach via correlations between an iconography founded on neurotic situations and the artist’s personality. But art history has discarded all analysis of artists’ personalities, rejecting the psychological approach on the grounds that creators assume strategic postures and play out individual mythologies. So despite an era that rampantly "psychologizes" behavior, artists are treated according to social science methods. Behind such caution, art studies tend to suppress connections between image and psychology. What is it that we mistrust in the name of "truth" when it comes to art? Why don’t the experiences and feelings of artists – their "own story" – share the attributes of any other vernacular source, the first being to reflect upon our ability to dialogue with mystifications – and also, perhaps, to find new interpretative pathways through the rediscovery of art history’s literary nature?
Born in 1962 in Brooklyn, Gregory Crewdson lives and works in New York. A leading figure in American photography, he stages his photographs like films, using actors, sets, props people, storyboards and make-up artists. In this way, he addresses the dark side of the American dream as well as his own psychological issues. He believes that only photography always remains silent. There is no before and no after. The events it captures do not unveil their mystery.