Eric Bookhardt, art critic for Gambit Weekly and Inside Art New Orleans, interviewed French photographer Bernard Faucon, whose project “The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth” is on display at NOMA through March, 2011. Brief excerpt posted below.
Interview: Bernard Faucon
by D. Eric Bookhardt
When Bernard Faucon first appeared on the art photography scene in the late 1970s, he was considered a paradoxical figure. Working in a medium that had long been associated with “truth,” he was a master of stagecraft and a certain flamboyant artifice. In a medium known for humanism, his subjects were mostly mannequins arranged in landscapes or interiors in the “tableau vivant,” or “living picture,” tradition. The popularity of his work quickly soared in Europe and Asia-especially in Japan, where his photographs inspired a TV series featuring a family of mannequins, “the Faucons.” After creating many photographs that were published in several, now rare and collectible, books, Faucon quit photography in 1995. Or so he thought. During his travels, he soon noticed parallels between modern youth culture and some of his earlier work, and he wondered if he might be able to devise a new approach photography in which the photographer and the subject were all part of the same milieu. The final product, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY OF MY YOUTH, was a collaborative effort. The 60 photographs on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art were all taken during the 1997 to 2003 duration of the project, and are all part of a larger collection that Faucon donated to the museum’s permanent collection. In town for the opening, he told us how this unusual collection came about.
Read the interview here: