Wednesday 23 June 2010

Marie Galanti

All images © Marie Galanti

At the invitation of photography student Eva Napp 1000 Words was privy to attend the MA degree show for Communications Design at Central Saint Martins, London and we were generally impressed by the work on display. Of the students on the course a handful had concentrated on photography as their chosen medium. One body of work in particular that caught our attention was that of young French conceptual photographer Marie Galanti, titled Therefore I Am. The series comprises four large scale photographs of four partially naked individuals standing on plinths, staring at the audience. A man with a semi-erect penis has just obviously ejaculated on himself, a women is menstruating with blood trickling down her thigh, another man is urinating and elsewhere a different woman again is drawling from her mouth. The work is interesting not for any shock value but because it appears very ordinary yet exposure to it on this scale certainly has an emotional impact, especially set against a very sterile environment, intentionally medical or nineteenth century anthropological.

Below are some of Galanti´s words on the project:

"When Descartes claimed "I think, therefore I am" in 1637; he suggested the primacy of the thinking over anything else and the separation between the body and the mind.
In 2010, in the frame of my MA photographic project, I answer:

- I urinate therefore I am,
- I menstruate therefore I am,
- I ejaculate therefore I am,
- I salivate therefore I am.

The series Therefore I am wants to reveal an essence and create a confrontation with our raw and inner nature. It presents the body as liberated and complicates the simplistic distinctions made between sexual, gendered body and organic, clinical body and looks at the raw and natural human and display these denied bodily fluids, which transgress the boundaries of our body and go beyond our rational control."

Next year Central Saint Martins will set up a new MA dedicated to photography and the course leader will be documentary photographer David Moore. So far this is all 1000 Words has been told: "We have a grand vision for what it might achieve, it is the first time Central Saint Martins has ran a dedicated MA in the medium and we are going for something that will try and sit outside of what is currently being offered across town, undefined as that may be!"