I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Gregory Colbert and hibiscus tea
Position and Hold!
If Vanessa Winship and others are at one end of the spectrum, then Gregory Crewdson is at the other. He presents a fictional world entirely of his own creation and if you are convinced by it, you are convinced by it and experience the Crewdson Weltanschauung. If you are not convinced by it, well you're not convinced by it and you come out of the experience a little confused and sullied.
I saw Selected Works by Gregory Colbert on the photoeye website. I think Colbert might be gilding the lily a bit too much with the book coming in a collector's box "...handcrafted from Nepalese paper coated with beeswax, and tied with thread stained with hibiscus tealeaves and Nepalese beads."
But then I saw the work (the exhibition of which "...has received over 10 million visitors in 4 continents making it the most attended exhibition by a living artist in history") and I thought, well why not. He reminds me of Crewdson in a perverse way - all that delving into the subconscious to come up with a parallel universe of new relationships and redefined anthropology that would have Edward Said farting in his grave. But if you buy into the work, then you buy into it and it's beautiful and all the rest.
Which is a big if.
Anyway, I apologise for making the point because the audience is obviously elsewhere - but I must say I had a few George of the Jungle moments in there with the orang-utans. Weird is the word.
The book is available in a limited edition of er, 1,500, at, er, US $7,500 a pop, which is something of a redefinition of limited.
And that's a take!