June 16, 2012

Arsen Sadavov - The book of dead

Surely the most extreme, disturbing, unsane and provocative photographic project ever done. I quite hesitated to post it since scoptophilia is not really the motivation that makes us look at such a work. The project is, you understood, to photograph cadavers as if they were still alive, but without trying to dissimulate that they are only cadavers. The facts that they are naked, that the thread that sew their skin is so visible, and that babies are inserted in these macabre group portrait, make this series a taboo breaking one that will surely scandalize some of the viewers as it has surely shocked visitors when it was shown in Moscow in 2001. I'm not so well with that either I must say. To know that we all finish this way is a rather abstract concept that suddenly becomes terrifyingly real and I'm not sure to want to see it. But I can't deny it's now part of our artistic heritage, a little bit in the way Gericault's human parts are and more recently the dead actors of the Witkin scenes. Now, Arsen Sadavov is a full-time painter (site here of all his work, photography and painting). I had posted his Collective Red Part 1 earlier done in 1998 (here)

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