15 September 2006

Raphaël Dallaporta

I was perusing some of the work being shown at "Rencontres d'Arles 2006 Photo Festival: Politics and Society" over at lensculture; the guest curator of the festival this year is Raymond Depardon with whom I am most familiar as the early 'patron' so to speak of Josef Koudelka.

In any case, the work of Raphaël Dallaporta caught my eye. The project shown at Arles was his "Domestic Slavery" in which he depicts the affluent residences of people accused and often convicted of keeping housekeepers and nannies (typically young women immigrants) in slavery. The images are glossy and bright, showing the deceptive facade behind which lurks cruelty and de-humanization. The obvious point, I think, is that we need not go to "exotic" places to find barbaric practices. Here are a couple of examples:

On Dellaporta's web page I also discovered his earlier "Antipersonnel" project in which he depicts sleek and shiny objects that turn out to be landmines and cluster bombs, depicting these objects as though he were producing advertising brochures for high-end consumer electronics. I find this project a provocative and effective counterpoint to the work of photographers who focus on the civilian victims of such indiscrciminate weaponry. Again, here are a couple of examples:

[All 4 images © Raphaël Dallaporta].


PS: You can find the International Campaign to Ban Landmines here. You can find useful links on human traffiking and slavery in an earlier post - here.



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