James Casebere

November 8 > December 31, 2008
Paris - Beaubourg

Selected works
Press release

For his new exhibition at Galerie Daniel Templon, American artist James Casebere, pioneer of the staged photography, presents a serie of recent works inspired by political and artistic relationships between East and West.

James Casebere’s architectures are fake places completely created from models. These tiny models, in wood and polystyrene, are realised in his studio then skilfully painted and lightened. Through this subtil game of dimensions, volumes and light, the artist explores the notions of perception and illusion.    

The « Flooded Cells » serie is inspired by prisonners’ stories arrested in the case of the « Extraordinary Rendition Policy » established by the american government just after September 9-11. These arrests and the detention places in foreign countries (Lybi, Soudan…) remain confidentials and the american government keeps denying their existence, as well as the tortures holded there. Without images proving the reality of these jails, James Casebere chose to create them from written testimonies of former prisonners. Water invades these spaces, just as if they were disappearing, and so denounce this well-kept secret of the government.

The second serie, said from the « Levant », shows architectures between Middle-East and West. It evoques the influences between Judeo-christian and Islamic worlds. James Casebere’s work never shows a clear reality easily identifiable. This representation of these places don’t send back to any precise cultural reality and cultivate the ambiguity of their fonction, half-way between the religious and ancientness.
Born in 1953, James Casebere lives and works in New York. His  work is represented in many museums such as The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York ; the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis ; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Los Angeles; the Victoria and Albert Museum of London.