6 April – 4 October 2000
White Cube Duke Street
Dutch photographer Inez van Lamsweerde and her collaborator and husband, Vinoodh Matadin, work in both in both fashion and fine art. As part of their art practice, they produce photographs that focus on beauty, and the disquieting nature of human desire. Van Lamsweerde’s exhibition at White Cube presented two photographs that used the artist herself as a subject.
Me Kissing Vinoodh (Passionately) (1999) is an enormous four panel photograph. The image originally depicted van Lamsweerde and her husband in a passionate embrace outside on the street, but van Lamsweerde has later removed Vinoodh’s presence, leaving a symbolic gap—that of the one violently without the other. Her face appears consumed by that absence, her mouth contorted in pain.
Van Lamsweerde has consistently used high-gloss glamour photography as a medium, and the computer as a tool, in the creation of images that render something beautiful, disturbing. Me Kissing Vinoodh (Passionately) is an exquisite examination of projected desire and fear of loss, as well as the multifaceted nature of human relationships: both consuming and giving, aggressive and tender. Like the artist’s earlier work Kirsten (1997), a tightly-cropped image of a young girl’s face, with lips of artificial cherry red and eyes partially closed, van Lamsweerde’s image of herself kissing her absent partner is at once alluring and repellent. The photograph implicates the viewer the fatal mechanism of physical beauty: what the artist herself describes as ‘devastating, mesmerising, awesome, unexplainable, untouchable, painful, transporting, never enough.’