In camera

two interactive garments that don’t want to be photographed

mesh, PVDF, electronic components


Two pieces of clothing, equipped with camera lens detectors and thus mimicking the diaphragm of such a device, come alive when a person photographs them, moving and taking in turn a picture of the visitor. The faces of strangers, partially hidden behind their phones or cameras, then merge in a gallery of blurred identities that are both distinct and similar.
In the manner of Francis Bacon’s portraits, paintings created from photographs, these garments evoke hybrid and provisional entities. In a way, they float. Their ambivalence is at the heart of the work whose name says it all: both private, behind closed doors (the literal translation of “In camera”), and public, since they depend on the gaze of the viewer/photographer.
Through movement, the clothes occupy space and regain a substance of which they are too often dispossessed in a context of overflowing images. Because the clothing object is constantly photographed and pasted onto the smoothed-out surfaces of fashion magazines and screens, we no longer consider the full range of its dimensions. Too often flattened, even diminished by the image, In camera breathes new life into the garment by materializing its three-dimensionality and, by the same token, reflecting our own complexity.

Photos : Maude Arsenault