Carl Bouchard's self-portraits are fictitious, emotional mise en scènes, in which the laying bare of the body corresponds to the laying bare of feelings. Bouchard is a multi-disciplinary artist, and his works draw upon performance, photography, and installation. More than a simple propensity to maintain a gaze on oneself, his transgressive images of needy people demand affection as an aptitude for commitment, authenticity, self-surrender. More precisely, they deal with the responsibility borne by each individual for how we look at others.
The author examines the expression and the modalities of communicating affection in a selection of Laura Letinsky's works in which the complexity of the love relationships between men and women is presented. Letinsky's images depict couples before or after making love, capturing moments when the women are emotionally distant. The attitude of many female characters - the nonchalance of some, the absent air of others - manifests their individuality in the gap that they impose between themselves and the other. This distant attitude negates the submissive position in which erotic imagery has most frequently portrayed women. As well, the gap produced by the distance of certain female characters opens up an indispensable space within which lies the proof that they have an effect on the other. Affection then arises as a need to close this gap.
As we all know, the family is in crisis. Like a company that is running out of steam, it needs images to exalt its specificity. It is indisputable that affection forms the fabric of family life -a fabric that characteristically stretches over several generations. It contributes to the undefinable sense of calm safety and shared emotion that is not only the best the family has to offer - although it does not always do so - but is the thing that it alone can offer. Bernard Plossu offers us an aestheticization of this family affection at a moment when it is perhaps not in a crisis of existence, but definitely in a crisis of representation. Plossu offers representations of the family that follow the daily experiences we all have with our loved ones: kissing, caressing, sleeping together. His images develop from concrete, innocuous situations whose value is solely in the feelings and emotions shared within them, and in them we can all dream of recognizing ourselves and our loved ones.