ELSE #11

Cover of ELSE #11 Charles Chaplin © Roy Export Company Establishment


1 - Vasantha Yogananthan, « A Myth of Two Souls »
Presented by Tatyana Franck

2 - Pablo López Luz, « Neo Inca »
Presented by Alexis Fabry

3 - Thierry Girard, « Après le fracas et le silence »
Presented by Claude Hudelot

4 - Pablo Réol, « Cuban Cars »
Presented by Tatyana Franck, text by Sébastien Leseigneur

5 - Lukas Ilgner, « Shelter »
Presented by Erik Kessels

6 - Vivian Olmi, « Animitas »
Presented by Jean-Christophe Blaser

7 - John Lehr, « The Island Position »
Presented by Joshua Chuang

8 - Hervé, « Little Monsters »
Presented by Erik Kessels

9 - Siya Akoi, « The Dog Show Project »

10 - Pierre Defaix, « 2224 Kolkata »
Presented by Martin Parr

11 - George Osodi, « Nigeria Monarchs »
Presented by Jean-Hubert Martin

12 - Thomas Mailaender, « Enlarge your wedding »
Presented by Tatyana Franck

« Où est Chaplin ? » Fonds photographique Charles Chaplin
Presented by Carole Sandrin


Contemporary photographers question or reinvent the world. Whether anthropological (George Osodi, Pablo López Luz, Lukas Ilgner) or documentary (Thierry Girard, Vivian Olmi, Pierre Defaix), ELSE wishes to reflect the diversity of their approaches. Most often, they cover their tracks, circumventing the trap of objectivity and sharing their own subjective eye. Hence, Vasantha Yogananthan delivers his personal contemporary reinterpretation of the Râmâyana; Pablo Réol tells of Cuba’s venture into capitalism through American cars; and John Lehr dissects the historical layers of shopping centers’ storefronts.

Through their gaze, everything becomes cultural heritage: royal adornments in Nigeria, Inca Stucco motifs on Peruvian facades, religious shrines on roadsides… And seriality initiates a dialogue – at times even amusing – between the images, as in the surprising series of penises at rest; nothing erotic or scatological about these close-ups, a simple, bizarre, deconstruction of century-old phallic worship. Passed these penises displayed like contest puppies, portraits of dogs with their Indian masters suggest that canine friendship can sometimes prove rejuvenating.

Finally, Thomas Mailaender, questioning the actual status of the work of art through re-appropriation, presents the world’s smallest photography album; and even if he did not trigger his camera, his submission is nonetheless utterly photographic.

In a way, Guy Debord’s perception of the audience in his essay, Society of the Spectacle, “They can’t find what they desire, they desire what they find,” could fittingly apply to the photographers presented in ELSE.

Hiding here in his own photographic archives, which are held at the Musée de l’Elysée, Charles Chaplin would likely consent.

Tatyana Franck, Editor in Chief,
Director of the Musée de l’Elysée

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ELSE Magazine previous issues, since June 2011.

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