Peter Knapp "Temps de pose 1960-1980"

Fashion has always exerted a special power over society, determining a system of recognition marks, allowing social classes, cultural or professional worlds to communicate, to identify or to distinguish one another. In the modern times, photo is as a memory of these behaviours.
Woman incarnates seduction, love and sensuality; in every civilization, in every time, she has been the subject or the main theme of pictures makers, and nowadays fashion photographers. What one is waiting from a fashion photo is not a little thing, because one demands it to alter his vision of his daily routine, even for just a second, to take him in a dreamed world, and concretely to encourage us to buy.
In the beginning, the time-exposure lasted three minutes. Then women from high society were freezed like statue in their beautiful dress. No warmth, no sensuality radiates from the picture. In the 20’s, fashion photo with models comes along. Diktats of stylists and designers did not considered “womanly women”, going from slim-waisted silhouette to breast-less chests (Poiret, Chanel), and finally to an almost abstract creature – for the liking of photographers. The more the body of the model went into decline and deviated from the natural female curves, the more it allows them to become a graphic in space.
Because of its excesses, that tendency became unbearable for the growing mass of people interested in fashion, which has provoked some kind of revolution.
Since 1965, designers like Courrèges have stopped “Haute Couture”. With a new look and a philosophy inspired by Bauhaus, the role makes the shape, he designed quite short dresses so women might drive up. Fashion pages became a scene of illusion and magic, full of pictures often far from reality, sometimes even shocking: thus we might memorize clothe more deeply and longer than with a traditional photo.
Jeanloup Sieff said one day: “fashion photo does not exist”. Maybe a bit to be provocative, a bit to allude its frivolity, but also to stress the absence of sacred. Sometimes, beyond fashion and information about the clothes, the photographer catches the core of the human being in front of him, and sometimes a moment of humanity pops up from that woman. At this point, fashion photography reaches some sort of veneration of the feminine beauty, an ideal of life.

Peter Knapp
Extract to La Photo et les Modes » talks at University of Lyon.

Phototgraphy :
Peter Knapp © galerie Baudoin, Paris

Curator :
Olivier Spillebout

Partners :
Galerie Baudoin Lebon et la Ville de Lambersart

Exhibition from 16 April to 25 May "Temps de pose 1960-1980"

Preview: Friday 16th May - 7 pm
Exhibited at Colysée, Maison Folie - Avenue du Colysée - Lambersart
Phone: 03 20 00 60 06

Open Wednesday to Satsamedi de 15h à 19h and Sunday from 1pm to 7pm.