Sunday, August 5, 2007

A sadistic show.

Currently, in the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, USA, is an exhibition of the French photographer Luc Delahaye.

Luc Delahaye is in fact a photojournalist.
He is send by photo news agencies to trouble spots and world events.
He makes pictures of the most tragic situations with people wherever they can be found in the world.
Displaced people in Chad.
The Jenin refugee camp on the West Bank.
Dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
Mass graves in Bosnia.
The genocide in Rwanda.

Devastation, destruction, death, misery, hopelessness.
Documented in colour pictures published in newspapers and magazines.

But Luc Delahaye takes with him also a medium-format camera.
And the pictures he makes with that camera are enlarged to monumental sizes.
Those enormous pictures are now exhibited in the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, USA.

So, in case you have missed to see those images in your newspaper or magazine, now you have the opportunity to see the corpse of the killed Taliban soldier in colour and life sized.
And all the other horrible things that have happened in the world over the last years.

The question arises what is the reason for this exhibition.
Why does the curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum, a woman called Anne Lacoste, choose to show these photographs?
They have already been presented to the public in newspapers and magazines.
The public knows about the events presented in the images.
Nothing new or unknown until now can be seen.

Over the last couple of years many terrible events indeed have been happening in the world.
Wars and disasters.
But at the same time, many beautiful and wonderful things have been happening as well.
Completely ignored by Luc Delahaye.
More people in the world are living in peace than in war.
Most places have not suffered disasters.

The exhibition is like a show of sadists intended for masochists.
The worst events of the last couple of years are presented only.
As impressive as possible.
As if this is the world we are living in.

There is another reason why this exhibition of Luc Delahaye in the J. Paul Getty Museum is adamantly rejected.

It is because of the aspect of this exhibition that those large images are considered objects of art.
They are bought and collected by museums like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art in Houston.
The deep misery of people in situations they are not responsible for photographed by a European photographer who sells eventually those images for big money.


To learn more about the exhibition of Luc Delahaye in the Getty Centre, click on:


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