Philip-Lorca diCorcia ”A Storybook Life”

Exhibition catalogue A Storybook Life. ISBN 1-931885-23-0
75 ill. in colour, 36,7 x 28,5 cm, hard cover.
Published 2003 by Twin Palms Publisher, Santa Fe.

Exhibition catalogue Heads. ISBN 3882434414
40 pages,13 ill. in colour, 37,5 x 30 cm, hardcover. Text by Luc Sante. Only in English
Published 2001 by SteidlBoxPacemacgill in conjunction with the exhibition PaceWildenstein Chelsea, New York in 2001.

The Planets by Luc Sante

In these photographs the air is black, but not because it is night. The hour does not matter. The isolated subjects are mantled by a light that comes from above, but it is not a stage light. They are not performing; they are unaware of the light. They are illuminated at that instant because they have been selected. They may have been selected the way bugs are, to represent their genus or phylum in a display case, but it seems more likely that they have been chosen to stand for themselves, in all their exquisite specificity. The entity or agency that has selected them is cool, impartial, formidable, although perhaps not entirely unsympathetic – we can’t know for sure.

Each subject has been ordered, by this huge and unknowable agency, to account for his life. Each one is unsettled by the demand, whose origin is a mystery. All they know is that they were walking down the street, heading to a job or a meal or nowhere in particular, and then suddenly the question struck, like lightning or embolism. They continue what they were doing, but time has stopped for them. Each one is momentarily alone in the cosmos. They are judging, measuring, painfully remembering, finding themselves come up short again and again, trying and failing to close the drawers, to shut the doors, to think of something else. They have no idea that the inspection is not a private matter. They do not know that they are exposed, as it were, on a laboratory slide, and lit up by the bulb of a vast and incomprehensible microscope. (…)

Excerpt from the catalogue text The Planets by Luc Sante from the catalogue Heads published in conjunction with the exhibition at PaceWildenstein Chelsea, New York in 2001.