Marcus Tomlinson enjoys playing with appearance, disappearance, lightness and evanescence. One of the techniques he uses is lenticular imaging, a way of including two pictures in one. In the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence, an anonymous 17th-century work shows alternately – according to whether the viewer moves from right to left or left to right – a Virgin and Child or the image of a saint: proof of an artistic interest in the process probably going back to the Renaissance.
To achieve the same result with today’s technology and materials, Marcus Tomlinson prints his photographs on grooved plexiglas, which allows the successive appearance on a single support of the same person in three different positions. One example is a girl facing the camera, wearing a light, semi-transparent garment when you look at her with your head tilted to the left, and nude when you tilt in the other direction.
Whether in photographs or in the films made with Hussein Chalayan, Issey Miyake and others, the models’ static, sometimes almost rigid pose and extremely precise gestures are in flagrant contradiction with their fragile, dreamy appearance. This intentional contradiction raises the issue of the ambiguity of the models, reduced to the status of automata rigorously subject to the demands of fashion and the designer.
In his most recent series, writes Raphaël Cuir, ‘Marcus Tomlinson veils the flesh of his naked models, bathing them in waves of liquid colour and flowing light that dissolve form by maintaining it in a state of perpetual uncertainty’ (from the text of Raphaël Cuir).
Exhibition curator: Laëtitia Talbot.
Exhibition produced and organised and produced by the French National School of Photography in Arles, with the assistance of the Patricia Dorfmann Gallery, PICTO, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône and Swarovski.