10 October 2013

I Should Have Sought Out a Good Therapist, Instead I Grabbed My Camera - Leigh Ledare

At The Guardian you can find this brief commentary on Leigh Ledare. He photographs his mother having sex. I think the work is adolescent bullshit. Here is his rationalization for thinking we ought to take him seriously:
"The obvious question is why did he – and she – do it? When asked, Ledare can retreat into a mixture of conceptual art speak, as in "the extremely open and intimate relationship I have with my mother ... was developed through the work. (It) comments on the confusion around these sexual boundaries … through imposing herself on me as a subject, she was asking me to be complicit in her sexualisation. I saw her sexuality as a means of antagonising her father and refuting expectations he had for how she should behave as a mother, daughter, and woman of her age."
[. . .]
His decision to chronicle his troubled relationship with his mother, he says, started when he returned home one Christmas. "I arrived home not having seen her for a year and a half," he recalls. "She knew I was coming and opened the door naked." When Leigh walked in past the bedroom, "a young man, almost exactly my age, was sprawled out naked. He rolled over to see me, saying hello, before rolling back over and returning to sleep." Ledare interpreted this welcome as "her way of announcing to me what she was up to, at this period in her life – almost as though to say, 'Take it or leave it.' I had a camera and began making photos of her then. She was the catalyst."
So, in the event Ledare ought to have turned and walked away and then found a therapist. Instead he reached for his camera, then learned art-speak and psycho-babble to justify his ongoing lapse in judgement. Let's say - in case you have not guessed - that I am unimpressed. Indeed, I don't think one can even say this is a case of wasted talent.



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