25 February / 1 April 2006
catalogue with essay by Luigi Meneghelli
Poetic yet disturbing, bloody yet seductive. Since 1993 the Japanese photographer Izima Kaoru has been creating scenes of sophisticated violence and enchanting horror. Landscapes with a Corpse is the title of his project. He invited actresses and models to reveal to him their fantasies about a perfect death: above all he asked them which designer clothes they would like to wear when they died. And so the photos that show the crime scene (or that of natural death) do not allude to something fatal and irreversible but a kind of elegant and highly aesthetic ceremony.
Kaoru’s images have always had a film-like structure: long shots with bodies that seem to melt into the setting alternate with others that show close-ups of the wide-open eyes of the victims. Yet there is never a real story, only clues, suspicions, allusions: the unlocking of a tale whose mystery will never be revealed. Even the glassy eyes of the models no longer look onto anything or anybody. Perhaps they symbolically look death in the face and continue to live within that explosive moment, with the absolute risk that signifies the extreme contact with ‘diversity’.