Much more than an international fashion photographer, French-Canadian Bruno Dayan is an avid storyteller with an eye for detail and a love for all things fantastical. His exhibition, “A corps perdu” situated at the Elephant Paname in Paris, showcases a selection of his never before seen personal work. The gallery’s untamed walls adorned with baroque motifs and large mirrors add a dreamlike element to this particular exposition experience. The rustic charm of the location transports the observer to an enchanted castle in the woods, or an abandoned château swimming with yearning spirits. On these walls, Dayan’s photographs pulsate sensuality, casting all viewers in a magical spell of lust. The onlooker is hypnotized by the lustrous colours and so consumed by the mastery of light that he becomes a lost body in a world between traditional painting and modern cinema, a universe that is uniquely Dayan’s alone.
The muses in the photographs are creatures of the night who also appear to be possessed by something otherworldly. One muse lies next to the trunk of a tree, another clings onto it for dear life. As one subject wanders through the branches of an unknown forest, another is captivated by them, so much so, that they resemble her very veins. Is this deep forest the body itself? Does Dayan seek the supernatural to reflect on what is natural? If so, this exposition allows the viewer to explore and let loose in this realm of imagination, to live and be free in corporal divinity.
Several nude images grace the middle of the gallery. Dayan’s devotion to the female body is crystal. The muse’s pearly flesh is reminiscent of those in the greatest Baroque paintings. Soft lines and lush forms emerge from the shadows to take shape and dance during Dayan’s witching hour. He commands light in such a way that spectators see the reflection of luminosity before the subject itself. Transitioning from body to spirit, the photographer plays with gravity, silky fabrics, and Gothic themes to provoke titillating, stimulating illusions.
The body is transformed into a fervent creature in Dayan’s fantasy so that we may reflect upon his ghostly, cinematic depiction of beauty. We see light before flesh, feel melancholy before tears, and taste air before wind. The body is lost for dreams to be wholeheartedly found.
Bruno Dayan studied Fine Arts and Film in Canada. At the dawn of his career, he directed a short film “Vie d’eau” that was shown at Cannes Film Festival that year. Afterwards, he worked on projects in film and print in Tokyo for over ten years before moving to France, where he currently lives. Dayan’s focus on photography led him to a monumental shoot, The Seven Deadly Sins, for Louis Vuitton in 1998, after which he embarked on a series of campaigns for major labels including Moschino, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Celine, Christian Lacroix, and magazines such as Numéro and Vogue.
“A corps perdu” by Bruno Dayan is the Elephant Paname in Paris from now until May 3, 2013. For more info visit: http://www.elephantpaname.com/fr/programmation/bruno-dayan
To view more of Bruno Dayan’s work please visit: www.brunodayan.com
Words / Sheri Chiu
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