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“There is no more unhappy being under the sun that a fetishist who pines for a boot and has to content himself with an entire woman » wrote Karl Kraus.

Such, more or less, is the thought that comes to mind when looking at this anonymous photographic collection that has changed hands several times. Here are hundreds of amateur photographs covering the decade from 1996 and 2006 expressing the fetishism of the taker.

This is manifested in photographs of legs sheathed in tights, snapped on the street or on television. The practice unfailingly recalls that of Miroslav Tichý – exhibited at the same time – except for the significant difference that our photographer sometimes becomes an exhibitor in what Magali Nachtergael calls this “museum of veiled legs.”
As is often the case with art brut, two burning questions arise: on one side, what is the degree of artifying that our gaze engages in when it comes across such a corpus? And, also, what is the fragment of the collective imaginary that seeps into what can indeed be called an “individual mythology”?

“Here, only the scopic matters,” affirms Marc Donnadieu, who goes on to observe that in the self-portraits “It is not, then, a matter of being the other, of feminising himself or cross-dressing. It would appear that it is only a matter of feeling himself to be the only object of desire.”

While going beyond the problematic of “brut” photography, the fact remains that the private, intimate nature of this undertaking syllogistically evokes that of fetishism as a consummate art of mythopoeia.

And here this acquires its full resonance, subverting boundaries, deconstructing models and ultimately imposing a particular narrative and aesthetic whose secrets the author surely never imagined us trying to elucidate here today.

Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Exhibition view of *the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2020 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Artworks
Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
le fétichiste (anonyme) untitled, 1996
3.94 x 5.91 in
le fétichiste (anonyme) untitled, 1998
3.94 x 5.91 in
le fétichiste (anonyme) untitled, 1998
3.94 x 5.91 in
le fétichiste (anonyme) untitled, 2000
3.94 x 5.91 in
le fétichiste (anonyme) untitled, 2003
3.94 x 5.91 in
Artist
le fétichiste (anonyme)
le fétichiste (anonyme) - © christian berst — art brut

This is the story of an anonymous photographic collection that surfaced from the secret depths to which it seemed doomed. Hundreds of amateur prints created over the course of a decade, between 1996 and 2006, that bear witness to the fetishistic habits of its author, manifested through pictures of legs covered with tights, taken either in the street or from a television screen. His practice evokes that of Miroslav Tichy, with the principal difference that our photographer sometimes becomes a subject himself. In both cases—as is often true with art brut—the burning questions of the construction to which our gaze proceeds and of the collective imagination’s infusion by such an individual[…]

Catalog
the fetishist anatomy of a mythology
The fetishist : anatomy of a mythology - © christian berst — art brut

Texts : Marc Donnadieu et Magali Nachtergael
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology, from october 15th to november 21st, 2020.

Press review
La photo brute se découvre encore
Bruno Dubreuil, Viens Voir. January 22, 2021.
Endless, nameless – un regard contemporain sur l’art brut
Léo Guy-Denarcy, AOC. January 14, 2021.
Les expos à voir absolument dans les galeries parisiennes
La Rédaction, Do It In Paris. January 14, 2021.
“le fétichiste”, l’homme mystérieux qui photographie les jambes des femmes à leur insu
Matthieu Jacquet, Numéro. January 13, 2021.
Chronique de Christophe Bier sur l’œuvre du fétichiste (à partir de 54’55)
Christophe Bier, Mauvais Genres - France Culture. January 9, 2021.
View more
Il feticista del collant: a Parigi la mostra del collezionista di gambe velate
Benedetta Perilli, La Repubblica. January 4, 2021.
Fetishism makes an exhibition of itself: The Paris gallery portraying upskirting as an art form
Rory Mulholland, The Independent. December 14, 2020.
Le fétichisme de l’art brut
Philippe Godin, La Diagonale De L’art - Mediapart. December 14, 2020.
Oh les beaux livres #2
Guillaume Lasserre, Mediapart. December 13, 2020.
L’esthète et les jambes
Clémentine Mercier, Libération. December 1, 2020.
Réouverture des galeries : Backslash, Mor Charpentier, Templon, Anne-Sarah Benichou…
La Rédaction, Fomo-vox. December 1, 2020.
Déconfinement : 10 expositions gratuites à faire en galerie
Marie Maertens, Valérie De Maulmin, Virginie Huet, Connaissance Des Arts. November 28, 2020.
Confiné, l’art ruse et se réinvente
Manon Schaefle, Art Hebdo Médias. November 18, 2020.
Le fétichiste, anatomie d’une mythologie
Frédérique Chapuis , Télérama Sortir. November 11, 2020.
Le Fétichiste et l’Exhibitionniste
Claire Margat, Lacritique.org. November 10, 2020.
Fétichisme, où commence la fiction, par la galerie Christian Berst
Fabien Ribery , Blog L’intervalle. November 9, 2020.
Galerie Christian Berst : Le Fétichiste, anatomie d’une mythologie
La Rédaction, L’œil De La Photographie. October 27, 2020.
christian berst, l’art brut comme un art contemporain
Emma Noyant, Art Absolument. October 9, 2020.
le fétichiste: anatomie d’une mythologie
La Rédaction, 9lives Magazine. August 1, 2020.
Videos
le fétichiste : anatomie d’une mythologie BFM Paris
Exhibition “the fetishist : anatomy of a mythology” Open until January 24, 2021 at christian berst[…]
table ronde fétichisme et art brut
Table ronde « fétichisme et art brut » du samedi 16 janvier 2021, à l’occasion de l’exposition « le[…]
The Fetishist

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