Diane Arbus at the Jeu de Paume
The largest retrospective of the work of Diane Arbus ever exhibited in France opened yesterday at the Jeu de Paume. Throughout the 1960s Diane Arbus turned her curious, empathetic and unflinching gaze on to the fringes of society, its margins… “My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been” said Arbus, and it was perhaps the first time in the history of photography that someone had documented society’s “freaks, homosexuals, lesbians, cripples, sick people, dying people, dead people”. But, as her former teacher and mentor the photographer Lisette Model went on to say, perhaps Arbus’ most extraordinary achievement was to photograph them “humanely, seriously and functioning in their lives”. She went exploring New York as a foreign land, boldly investigating the city’s secret subcultures and there finding something both shockingly unique and powerfully universal.
Until 5 Feb 2012. Tue, noon-9pm; Wed-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat, Sun, 10am-7pm.
Jeu de Paume, 1 pl de la Concorde, 8th. M° Concorde. 01.47.03.12.52. www.jeudepaume.org
A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966