Review: Clinic


Book Reviews, Photobooks

Just like any other aspect of our modern Western lives, health care has been turned into an industrialized business, with all its advantages and disadvantages (for a particularly noxious example, read this article). Their associations with illness and death aside, there is a reason why most people are very hesitant to go to a hospital (unless they have to): Hospitals are extremely unpleasant places. Thus most people probably prefer not to look too closely at the actual environment inside a hospital while being there. Enters Clinic. Clinic “explores the aesthetic of the medical world through contemporary photography” through the eyes of eleven photographers (Olivier Amsellem, Constant Anée, Eric Baudelaire, Geoffroy de Boismenu [who shot this reviewer’s favourite section of the book], Christophe Bourguedieu, Jacqueline Hassink, Albrecht Kunkel, Ville Lenkkeri, Matthew Monteith, Mario Palmieri, and Stefan Ruiz), with artistic director Rémi Faucheux.

Eleven photographers translates into eleven different approaches to the subject matter, ranging from semi-abstract close-ups of body parts on operating tables to portraits of women pregnant for the first time to images inside a morgue. With this variety of view points, Clinic not only shows different aspects of the world of hospitals, but it also manages to survey the world of contemporary fine-art photography a bit, in terms of the kinds of approaches to photography. Needless to say, not every style of photography is present, but regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with what they are about to see inside Clinic.

Those interested in samples of the photography can visit the publisher’s website, which, however, appears to be French language only. But you don’t need to be able to understand French to be able to browse the list of photographers. According to Rémi, in Europe the book can be ordered via the website; in the US via photo-eye.