Les Erotiques Du Regard
Paris: Andre Balland, 1968. Offset. In pictorial boards. 112pp. Text in French. 10 ¾ x 13 ¾ in. First Edition. Very good, with light wear on spine’s crease, and top corners. Item #6591
A striking book of erotic photography and concrete poetry—a montage of phrases cut out from the magazines and newspapers of Paris in the tumultuous and revolutionary Spring of 1968, juxtaposed with voyeuristic, and often racy, images of women in the city.
In the introduction, and seemingly without self-awareness, the collaborators responsible for the book, painter Jacques Delfau and the photographer Marc Attali, accuse each other of not being able to focus on anything else but gazing. On that account, critics have called this book a “frank” exploration of the male gaze precisely because the authors wouldn’t even know to describe their work by that name. While for them the book is a realist exploration of the erotic life of the eye in the city, it is also an ambiguous, troubling repetition of men-looking-at-women through the camera: a document not only of the changing political life of Paris in May ’68, but also of the discursive structure of pleasure.
“It is Eros that precedes reality.”.