Les pièces inondées (Flooded parts)
James Casebere’s photographs evoke our deepest fears and longings. He builds tabletop models that mimic the appearance of archetypal institutions (home, school, library, prison), or archetypal architectural tropes (tunnel, corridor, archway) and shoots them as real life. Their serial narratives bear a particularly European, existential angst in spite of the artist’s residency in New York and his affinity for American subjects.
While his influences seem far flung, from French New Wave cinema to conceptual American art and the early 20th-century Bauhaus and Constructivists, his work feels organically unified. Perhaps this is because his images captivate our collective imagination, the one ruled by instinct.
- Casebere’s Manhattan studio
"The first image where I did use water was the flooded hallway which is based on photographs of flooded bunkers under the Reichstag. The water as a metaphor is about the passage of time. It’s about temporality. But it’s also about emotion, an excess of emotion."
Like life, art is relative, and we all struggle with issues of faith and truth, with no easy answers. Understanding Casebere’s art requires a leap of faith. Do you believe what you see, or don’t you?
You can see more on the artist’s site.