Artist: Thomas Julier
Venue: Shanaynay, Paris
Exhibition Title: Violation
Date: January 26 – March 2, 2019
Thomas Julier, Distant Relatives, 2013–2019. HD video loop, approx. 4min.
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Shanaynay, Paris
Distant Relatives is a series of b/w children’s portraits, re-photographed from H&M’s campaigns for their children’s range, which Thomas Julier has been pursuing at a store in Zurich since 2013. Photographed through a shop window and thus taken out of the context of the adverts, the under-age models seem re-attain personhood. H&M uses a visual language referencing fashion photography as well as b/w photography’s humanist tropes to convey subliminally, yet unmistakably, eroticized images of children to lure their parents, who are invited to indulge in phantasies of their children’s adult personalities and future sex appeal. There is nothing childlike about the children in these photographs; they are images by adults for adults, in which children are used as screens for projections that are unintelligible to them.
The show’s logo “Violation”, written in H&M’s trademark font, appears on the front windows of the space and printed on T-shirts, hung on a clothing rack in the middle of the room, giving Shanaynay the appearance of a concept store.