Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault

Clérambault (1872 - 1934) was a photographer and psychiatrist (apparently he invented, ahem I mean discovered, the concept of erotomania). He travelled to Morocco and obsessively took photos of women in veils. I don't know much more about him; about a year ago I found a book in a second-hand shop that contained some of his photos. They're troubling: the odd, repetitive overlap between woman and apparition. The apparent hint of cruelty and objectification. I wonder what he was doing? what was he looking for in these images?

8 comments:

Manvi said...

seems like something about how they are walking ghosts/apparitions... as if they have already been murdered. or perhaps in repression their souls have been murdered. like a flower squashed after unfurling only its first leaf.

Manvi said...

perhaps he meant to show, by the squishing of their souls in such intense repression, they were already dead, ghosts.

gregory said...

Happy Christmas, Alasdair!

gregory said...

Happy Christmas, Alasdair!

judi Davies-Webb said...

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/197/5/371.full
This will give you a little more information about de Clerambault. He was a very interesting man with many sound but strange findings on his chosen study of 'Erotomania' hence the Syndrome named after him.

Anonymous said...

In a brilliant essay on his work by Joan Copjec postulates that he was a cloth fetishist, most particularly rough silk. These images are disturbing because human figures cant just be utilitarian figures modelling cloth. The pervert/fetishist lives in denial of the human relation, fixing onto other things. Whats fascinating about the photographs is that the human figures cant be trapped. They exist underneath the cloth, laughing at him. They cannot actually be seen/known by him. And besides they are not orientalist images.

Amy said...

I translated his essays from the French (poorly) as an undergraduate independent study project. I also recommend the Joan Copjec essay referenced above. http://www.scribd.com/doc/55406481/The-Sartorial-Superego

Amy said...

I translated his essays from the French (poorly) as an undergraduate project. I also recommend the Copjec article: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55406481/The-Sartorial-Superego