Joel-Peter Witkin The Mystery of Presence 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin is renowned as the creator of elaborately constructed and often erotically charged photographic tableaux exploring grand themes of religion, sex and mortality with continual references to art history. Witkin has pursued complex issues of the human condition for more than 40 years through people most often cast aside by society.

‘I wanted my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing a person sees or remembers before death’. The photography of Joel-Peter Witkin certainly thrives with controversy. Depicting a darker, often grotesque or gruesome view of society for more than 40 years, his photographs leave the viewer restless at least. Portraying dark tableaus and still lifes using subjects ranging from various societal outcasts such as dwarfs, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, amputees, people with disabilities and deformities to rotting corpses and dismembered body parts, Witkin creates photographs that resemble a freak show circus from the turn of the century but are painstakingly constructed and imbued with complex meanings and metaphors behind them. His world is both hauntingly beautiful and grotesque, both fascinating and frightening. His work has been described by Marina Isola from The Met as ‘part Hieronymus Bosch, part Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.

Witkin’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among many others.

This special DVD was used to promote Joel-Peter Witkin's 2003 exhibition at the RICCO / MARESCA GALLERY in NYC.
The video was not available commercially and was intended for the press and patrons only, making it very difficult to find.

DVD includes:
-- Vile bodies 1997 (17:40) documentary
-- L'image indelebile 1993 (49:27) documentary
-- Gallery of images shown during the exhibition

DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 00:49:27 + 00:17:40 | 3.94 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none

Download Joel-Peter Witkin - The Mystery of Presence: L'image indelebile (1994) + Vile bodies (1997) DVD5:


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