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"Toy Stories: Etienne Clement"
2005-01-21 until 2005-03-15
Photofusion Photography Centre
UK United Kingdom
The subjects used in Clément's photographs are tiny, second-hand toy figurines, each of which, would have at one time represented some kind of ideal to their young owner. Now abandoned and cast off, their physical flaws are revealed close-up including their plastic psychologies. They now look like products of their neglected environment, emerging from dark doorway sets like ghostly film stars having taken over the asylum.
In Toy Stories, Clément brings to life his childhood in Paris, France, of disused and derelict buildings which were once his playground. Here he found the traces of departed occupants on wall surfaces and fixtures providing him with an intense visual experience of imaginary people in controlled film sets where fantasies were left to his imagination.
This project is a conscious departure from his unsentimental architectural commissioned work. In Toy Stories, Clément's imagination of the child inside is regained to reveal a world without rules, of comic and occasionally disturbing narratives.
These memories turned into cinematic recollections show portraiture in a different dimension - one where the viewer is unsure what awaits - perhaps something even more chilling, perhaps scenes of imprisonment or interrogation.