Yann Faucher – Untitled (2012)
Frustrating and illogical composition aside, there is so much to love here: suffused summer light bleeding from the window like a wound, suffusing the fringe of a beautiful body and clotting—white and diaphanous—on curtain gauze; eyes closed lightly, mouth open just a little; long arms dangle, finger tips tracing the textured braille of the bed sheets; above his right knee, and the forgotten change left on the sill that will stick for a moment when he stands again.
The content of the work is stunning, trading in sincere portraits of primarily nude male-bodied models. When [gender neutral pronoun] does make images of female-bodied individuals, the result is a sort of Fassbinder-ian waiting for those quiet moments wherein women are no longer divided into a me & the-me-the-world-sees and are finally alone with their thoughts.
It kills me to say it but all this potential is greatly diminished by Faucher’s thoughtless reliance on #skinnyframebullshit. I don’t know what it is more insufferable or sloppy.
There needs to be a reason, a compositional logic behind a vertical frame. I don’t know if in making portraits Faucher considers portrait orientation more fitting—though [insert gender neutral possessive] grasp of the technical seems more nuanced than that. It might also be an effort to comment on the way audiences view images (what with smartphones leading the #skinnyframebullshit charge). If that was the case, I could accept it. (I am not against vertical frames; I am against using them without any good reason.)
I admit that I haven’t looked closely at the rest of Faucher’s images; but the sense driving the framing seems to be the grievously mistaken notion that the frame should echo the length of the window. Only, due to the camera’s pan and the lenses wide angle of view, the visible portion of the window is closer to a square than a rectangle.
The window bay’s leftmost vertical angle does not align with the left frame edge. A small point, yes; nonetheless one that would have been de-emphasized with landscape orientation.
In this case the oddity of the angle indicates other glaring inconsistencies: the boy’s body is not balanced within the frame– the top of his left knee is lopped off by the right frame edge, his left foot hacked through the ankle and heel by the bottom frame edge. Then there’s the dead space directly above his head…
Don’t get me wrong the work is good; but it also has the potential to be so fucking much better. Unrealized potential pisses me off. (However, I suspect this says more about me than Faucher.)