3 powerful photo series that tell a story of love and loss

This spring season, pieces of emotional discourse are being pieced together at the European House of Photography in Paris. The life of love is explored in intimate acts: from the earliest beginnings to the splendor of everyday life, from the passion of happy days to the pain of bereavement.

The collective exhibition ‘Love Songs’ reveals the plurality of feelings, story, and event of love through fourteen photographic series by Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, Renee Grobli, Emmett Gwen, Larry Clark, Sally Mann, Lee Lidari, Herve Guibert, Alex Cleo Robow, JH Engström & Margot Wallard, RongRong & inri, Lin Zhipeng, Hideka Tonomura, and Collier Schorr.

Among the projects presented, three caught our attention: Thierry From Hervé Guibert who portrays his sweetheart, when they are both HIV-positive, sexual dependency song Written by Nan Golden documenting his friendships, violent and dependent love, and a two-part series by Nobuyoshi Araki comparing his first and last moments with his wife.

Herve Guibert Thierry (1976-1991)

1976. Hervey meets Thierry. Hervey is 20 and Terry is 21. Hervey was born on December 14 and Terry on December 15. Hervey is HIV positive and Terry is too. Fifteen years later, we will always find Thierry in Hervé’s life, accompanying him in illness and death. Thierry would end up joining Hervé, a year after his death, from AIDS.

Fifteen years of love. This is documented by the French author and photographer Herve Gibert. The two lovers contracted the same disease and continued “Transformation [leur] spirit” By immortalizing their relationship. In each portrait of Guibert, whose illness froze his whole life in texts and images, there is always a connection with the body and desire. The latter testified that his work testified only to“something” : “My love.”

We’ll find Thierry, later under the first letter “T.” , in a posthumous book Shrine of lovers By Hervé Guibert, published in 2001: I cried in my arms, on my bed, it was worse than the suffocation in my heart after someone punctured my lungs with a syringe. […] meThere is no doubt about the original character, the teacher, the target, the scale, the main character of the main story, the only visitor needed”he wrote.

Blindfolded, under the white wedding veil, in the bathtub, in front of a glass of wine, on vacation in Italy, in the living room, reading, one hand lying on a chest … Hervé Guibert depicts these little things that make up the rites of love, under the light Soft and dramatic, with an urgency of life and survival.

Nobuyoshi Araki, emotional journey (1971) and winter trip (1989-1990)

emotional journey And winter trip It constitutes a double act whose meaning and depth can only be understood by looking at it as a whole. The first series chronicles the marriage of Nobuyoshi Araki with his wife Yuko, whom he married in 1971. During their marriage, the couple traveled by train from Tokyo to Yanagawa, on the island of Kyushu.

The honeymoon, staged over five days, reveals monochrome photos of their union, taken with four hands: official portraits of their marriage at moments shared during their marriage. The second series, which was produced from May 1989 to January 1990, testifies to Yoko’s final hours, as he suffers from an illness that will kill him at the age of 42 and mourns Araki.

In heartbreaking images the Japanese artist documents their medical appointments, their cold journey to the hospital, their waiting, their hope, their torment, the tender gestures, life without them, her sad daily life, his loneliness, his lack, the funeral, his faint face surrounded by roses. Like a diary.

emotional journey It is the fruit of my love and determination as a photographer. […] I chose love to begin as a photographer and by chance wanted this beginning to be a personal novel. […] I have the impression that the personal novel is the closest to photography”trust.

This work follows the natural and difficult development of their unspeakable love. Little by little, Yōko vanishes from the Araki’s increasingly meditative images to make way for their cat Chiro. One must cling to one’s heart to watch its first and last moments, through thick and thin, until death separates them.

Nan Golden sexual dependency song (1973-1986)

at sexual dependency songNan Golden tells thirteen years of her private life. In this emblematic project of her career, the American photographer places the audience in the position of a voyeur, as if they are reading her memoirs and interfering with her most memorable thoughts. “For me, photography is the opposite of abstraction. It is the way of touching the other: it is foreplay”are theories.

With a documentary approach, this work chronicles his relationships with his friends, his love, his addictions, his transgressions, and his vices, without hiding anything. Immediately took a picture “Tender and Raw” Witness the moments Party, sex, anxiety, drugs, violence. shared with “his tribe”And “His Recreated Family” And United by a similar moral: the need to fully live in the moment.

“It questions the boundary between independence and dependence in a couple, the tension that leads to conflicting and often violent relationships. It also examines relationships of complicity between women or the fragility of men when they are alone.”MEP Details.

Presented for the first time in Europe, at the Rencontres de la Photograpie d’Arles in 1987, accompanied by a playlist, the MEP inspired this group exhibition: its name, “Love Songs,” originated from “The Story” by artist Nan Goldin. The playlist also accompanies the Parisian event, which is set up as a “side” that narrates the years 1950 to 2000 and “side B” tracing the period of the 2000s to the present day.

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