The Uncertain Beauty of the World showcases more than thirty years of work by the French photographer Valérie Belin, from the 1990s to the present day. The book accompanies a major retrospective at at the Museum of Fine Arts in Tourcoing, the MUba Eugene Leroy, in 2023.
Belin’s work has been an evolving examination of our relationship to beauty, artifice and the impermanence of things. From the shooting a portrait image to retouching or finessing it the photographer is, like a painter, creating a layered work that plays on the ambivalence between the living and the artificial. The people we see – whether they are models, transsexuals, clown figures or celebrity lookalikes – are, for the most part, in a transitional state towards ‘the desire to transform themselves into images’, says Belin, while her object-images, such as vintage cars, engines or vintage dresses, seem to be animated by her lens. It’s a unique and evocative aesthetic.
AtelierEXB, 192pp, 21cm x 28cm, hardcover, 2023
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