One of the most powerful things I’ve seen in Paris so far is the exhibition presented at Le Bal by photographer Antoine D’Agata. He delves deep into the underworlds for his collections of deeply disturbing and thought-provoking photos. Rarely using flash, many are blurred and out of focus further emphasising the dank and miserable conditions in which they are taken.
The images are in a way the antithesis of traditional photography, they feel more like a snatched moment, abducting certain situations in a chaotic and horrifying manner.
D’Agata is clearly drawn to the edges of humanity, and subsequently draws the viewer into a world on the fringes of existence constantly grappling with a downward spiral to depravity and death. The horrors of sexual suffering are drawn into sharp focus and the images have now been imprinted into my conscious. Only once have I experienced a similar phenomena at Jane Evelyn Atwood’s ‘Women in Prison’ at Side Gallery in Newcastle, both exhibitions speak to the viewer in such a way that not only conveys the pain of its subjects but forces the audience to accept them as truth.
D’Agata avoids the unpleasant cliché of ‘voyeur’ and the artist’s involvement with the women he photographs could not be further from the casual ‘eroticism’ of popular culture. He presents to us the ‘collateral damage’ of contemporary capitalism uniting the populations of the so-called ‘under-classes’ with a terrifying realsim.
ANTOINE D’AGATA, ANTICORPS
Le Bal, 6 IMPASSE DE LA DÉFENSE, 75018, PARIS
Metro: Place de Clichy, lines 2/13
Bus: 54, 74, 81
★★★★★ A must see exhibition if you are in Paris (finishes on April 14th, just one week left)
(Side Gallery, Newcastle: http://www.amber-online.com/)