JOEL-PETER WITKIN
喬爾 – 彼得·威肯


Joel-Peter Witkin (born 1939) is an American photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as dwarves, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. Witkin’s complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings. Witkin’s work with corpses is created primarily in Mexico, where there are fewer restrictions in the handling of dead bodies. After taking his photographs, Witkin puts them through an extensive development process. He uses a hands-on chemical development method, often bleaching his prints, toning them, or scratching the negative.

Witkin’s work extends beyond the theme of death thought, with pieces using amateur models in a studio setting. His models are either beautiful or deformed, with his photographs presenting each model fully to explore themes ranging from the mundane to the erotic.

Joel-Peter Witkin’s photograph “Sanitarium” inspired the final presentation of Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2001 collection based on avian imagery, the walls of another box within the faux psychiatric ward collapsed to reveal a startling tableau vivant: a reclining, masked nude breathing through a tube and surrounded by fluttering moths.

喬爾-彼得•威肯(生於1939)是一位美國攝影師,現居住於美國新墨西哥州阿爾伯克 基。他的作品經常以死亡和屍體作為主體,包括了各種形形色色的人物,侏儒、變性 人、雌雄同體以及肢體畸形的人。威肯作品中紛繁複雜的場面經常借用西方古典油畫 和宗教故事插畫中的構圖。威肯的工作主要是在新墨西哥州進行的,因為這裡對處理 屍體的限制更為寬鬆。在他拍攝完成后,他會對作品做進一步的處理,比如通過手工 的方式漂白、刮刻底片或照片。

威肯的作品不僅僅是關於死亡的思考,他也創作了在攝影棚內拍攝非專業模特的作 品,這些模特的外形不一而足,有的美若天仙,有的醜陋無比,他通過攝影的手段呈現 了每一位被拍攝人物的性格,探索了各類不同的主題。

威 肯 的 作 品 影 響 了 很 多 當 代 藝 術 家 和 設 計 師 ,其 中 他 的 攝 影 作 品 “ 療 養 院 (Sanitarium)”就曾經啟發了英國時裝設計師亞歷山大•麥昆(Alexander McQueen)的靈感,其2001年春夏季服裝中的禽類造型、和倒塌的精神病病房以及 讓人驚異的場景–蒙面的通過管子呼吸的裸體人物、飛舞環繞的飛蛾,都來自對威肯 作品的借鑑。

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“I wanted my photographs to be as powerful as the last thing a person sees and remembers before death. ”

“我希望我的攝影作品能夠足夠有力,就像人們臨死前對這個世界的最後一次回眸。”

“It happened on a Sunday when my mother was escorting my twin brother and me down the steps
of the tenement where we lived. We were going
to church. While walking down the hallway to the entrance of the building, we heard an incredible crash mixed with screaming and cries for help. The accident involved three cars, all with families in them. Somehow, in the confusion, I was no longer holding my mother’s hand. At the place where I stood at the curb, I could see something rolling from one of the overturned cars. It stopped at the curb where I stood. It was the head of a little girl. I bent down to touch the face, to speak to it — but before I could touch it someone carried me away”.

“那件事發生在一個星期日,我的
母親和弟弟一起出門去教堂,當我
們從樓梯下來走到走廊的時候,我
們聽到了一聲令人難以置信的撞擊
聲,夾雜著哭喊和求助聲。那場車
禍中三輛汽車相撞,每輛車裡都有
一 家 子人 。在混亂中,不知怎的,我
沒有牽著媽媽的手。我站在路邊,
我看到一個什麼東西從一輛掀翻的
汽車裡滾了出來,它滾到我站的地
方,那是一顆小女孩兒的頭顱。我
彎下腰,打算去撫摸那張臉,和她
說 說話 ,不過 ,還沒等我碰到它 ,我
就被人抱走了。”