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28 JANUARY - 5 MARCH 2005

Private View Thursday 27 January 6.30 - 9pm
Photofusion is proud to present a new exhibition of photographs by Etienne Clément. Staged in empty, derelict buildings, the subjects of these unconventional large-scale, colour portraits are tiny, second-hand figurines which would have at one time represented some kind of imaginary ideal to a young owner.

Clément has always been drawn to forbidden, empty places. As a child, these unknown, unsafe territories were his playground offering an endless supply of stories to feed his avid curiosity. Previous series of works have focused on the memory of human habitation within these spaces - the traces of departed dwellers found on wall surfaces and fixtures. By photographing children's figurines in such environments, and by combining both portraiture and architecture, he is staging untold stories.

Reversing the conventional studio portrait format where the real-life subject is placed against an idealised, fake background, in Toy Stories Clément has used all-too-real, troubled environments as the backdrop for these mass-produced figures. Now abandoned and cast off, their physical flaws are revealed close up. Here they look like products of their neglected environment, emerging from dark doorway sets like a travelling troupe of forgotten film characters, each apparently making a new bid for stardom: poorly painted geisha girls, blue cowboys and red Indians, a one-armed astronaut and a selection of mad, staring dolls. The effect is darkly comic and occasionally disturbing.

Unlike many photographers, Clément doesn't appear to be interested in making his subject matter look beautiful. Instead, his shots are honest and, for that reason, unexpected.

Grant Gibson, Blueprint, on the exhibition 'Get Your Hands Dirty' at the Geffrye Museum, London

Clément's recent solo exhibitions include Palais des Congres, Paris; BALTIC, Gateshead; and London shows at the Architectural Association, RIBA Architecture Gallery, 291 Gallery and the Geffrye Museum. His work appears in many public and private collections including BALTIC, ARTpoint, Blonksi Architects, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Milton Keynes Council, London Borough of Hackney. He was educated at Ecole du Louvre and La Sorbonne, Paris.

For further information and images, please contact Photofusion on 020 7738 5774 or email

Gallery open: Tues to Sat 10am - 6pm, Thurs 10am - 8pm
Gallery closed: Sun, Mon & Bank Holidays

Free admission and wheelchair access

17a Electric Lane
London SW9 8LA

Tel: 020 7738 5774
Fax: 020 7738 5509
Email: and

OPENED LANDSCAPE: Lindow, Tollund, Grauballe
19 November 2004 - 15 January 2005


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