Critics’ Picks

Fan with a Cigarette, 2007, silk screen on canvas and tacks, 78 3/4 x 89 3/8".

Fan with a Cigarette, 2007, silk screen on canvas and tacks, 78 3/4 x 89 3/8".


Hedi Slimane

Galerie Almine Rech | 19 rue de Saintonge
19 rue de Saintonge
November 25, 2007–January 5, 2008

Hedi Slimane approaches the sublime in this cohesive installation of image and sound, form and texture, with souvenirs from his documentation of the Klaxons’ appearance at indie-rock festival Benicassim, as well as a recent performance by Amy Winehouse. Plunging into the richness of music and performance, Slimane’s art re-creates the seductive power of a band’s live show. A glittering silver runway, illuminated by a row of bare lightbulbs, draws visitors into the otherwise darkened space. Music—ambient recordings from the Klaxons’ preshow preparations—pours forth from two speakers. Suspended from shiny black metal rigging, the sleek amplifiers introduce entrancing audio shifts, as if the recording took place at varying distances from the music’s source. At the back of the gallery, as if at the foot of a stage, black-and-white poster-size photographs of audience members, constituting the series “Crash,” 2007, are attached to a concert-hall crowd barrier. The angular metal structure mirrors the sharp, sweaty profiles captured in each of the portraits. Slimane depicts each subject—a young fan locked in a glassy-eyed daze, another pausing to take a deep drag from an almost spent cigarette—as a point of stillness in the crowd. The images, bathed in the light from Slimane’s white neon text piece Perfect Stranger, 2007, are exactly that: perfect strangers, completely unfamiliar while at the same time entirely alluring.