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Alex Webb, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Birdhead, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Daesung Lee, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Harry Gruyaert, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Olivia Arthur, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Takashi Homma, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Saint Laurent’s “Self 07” project, curated by Anthony Vaccarello, presents six simultaneous exhibitions, from June 9 to June 12.
Olivia Arthur, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Art

Six Photographers Surreally Reveal Six Cities for Saint Laurent Self 07

By Selen Ozturk

June 13, 2022

Saint Laurent’s “Self 07” project,  curated by Anthony Vaccarello, presents six simultaneous exhibitions, from June 9 to June 12, simultaneously on view in Paris, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai. Each show presents exclusive photographs of the cityscape as seen through the lens of a photographer with a strong connection to the city: respectively, Harry Gruyaert, Olivia Arthur, Alex Webb, Takashi Homma, Daesung Lee, and Birdhead (an analog photography collective consisting of Song Tao and Ji Weiyu). The project seeks to blend art and fashion through a visual interconnection of the world.

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Harry Gruyaert, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Harry Gruyaert is known for his photographic work in color, which focuses upon transparency, reflection, and superimposition of light across surfaces and dislocates the viewer from any given reference, as though the eye were, in his words, “between two worlds.” He has stated that, for him, “photography is not only a matter of composition or color, it must also speak of the places and the time.” His work for the project depicts Parisian airport scenes, speaking to the current liminal place and rapid time of the city.

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Olivia Arthur, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Olivia Arthur’s work explores the relationship between personal and cultural identity. Her “Self 07” series, “So not so,” explores the kinetic relationships between human bodies and the way they relate to each other through touch, through surreal vantages. She has stated that “An exploration of the physical world in natural and unnatural forms is also key for me in showing the limits of our physicality. Our virtual worlds have grown to become a genuine reality and as technology creeps we need to remind ourselves of the hard feeling of a hand on a wall or the clatter of pebbles falling over each other.” In this way, physical interaction develops and bridges the gap between personal and cultural identity, emphasizing our fragility as well as our strength.

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Saint Laurent’s “Self 07” project, curated by Anthony Vaccarello, presents six simultaneous exhibitions, from June 9 to June 12.

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Alex Webb, Magnum Photos for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Alex Webb’s street photography for Saint Laurent documents the Pinata District, Flower District, and Fashion District of LA through the dynamic and diverse conjunctions of their colors and cultures.  The vibrancy of these pieces is reminiscent of and accompanied by his previous Latin American and Caribbean urban works. He has stated that “City streets are alive with vibrant color, bold geometry, layers of light and movement, and rich diversity. They are the dynamic meeting places where the many worlds of the city cross paths, often in surprising and surreal ways.”

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Takashi Homma, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Takashi Homma’s work uses the camera obscura technique to explore the ways in which human action, and particularly fashion, is constrained and guided by the pressures of Tokyo. His previous work has explored suburban Tokyo and the city as seen from Le Corbusier-designed windows. He has stated that “We, dressed in clothes, live and act in the environment of Tokyo. Our actions are in fact constrained and guided by the pressure of the city of Tokyo… The city and fashion are always in a one-to-one relationship.” The rhythms of the urban environment determine the relation between the city and fashion.

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Daesung Lee, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Daesung Lee’s upbringing in a rural village has influenced the environmental nature of his work, visually blurring the lines between fiction and reality. His photographs for “Self 07” explore this line in terms of the Spring 2020 lockdowns and our subsequent return to nature. The changes of this period led him to affirm that, since then, he “no longer see[s] the world in the same way.” As the lockdowns ended and the world began again, “nature revived and came back to us once we stopped being indoors. Nature gave us back all the forgotten senses. The sky was so blue, more than ever, birds were singing so loudly out of my apartment window and the leaves of the trees in the streets were greener than ever.” Lee deftly captures the fictional and fantastical components of this return.

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Birdhead, Magnum Photos Guest Photographer for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Birdhead’s collaborations are inspired by the symbiotic harmony between species in nature, applying both a humanistic and a naturalistic philosophy to their photographic practice. Their work for this project explores the tangible connections between form and the urban environment and even between the photographs themselves, aligning cityscape, clothing, and bodily contours with natural outlines of clouds, trees, and stones and blocks of light and shade influenced by Chinese calligraphy. 

These works for Saint Laurent, comprising original analog photographs with no reframing, also comprise inverted negative prints for the first time in their oeuvre. They have stated that “the characteristics of Saint Laurent’s SELF project provide a high degree of freedom, allowing artists to transcend boundaries and explore the possible new resonance of art and fashion in each special era from different perspectives.” Birdhead’s signature photographic matrix style well reflects these possibilities.

Saint Laurent

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