L’affaire de Camden Town
This photographic project is inspired by the work of British artist Walter Sickert (1860-1942). The interest Natascha Niederstrass had for his series of paintings entitled L’affaire de Camden Town produced in 1908 comes from her fascination for the construction of ambiguous narratives. Just as Sickert, she attempts, through the photographic medium, to communicate stories by featuring characters in particular environments. This way of developing various series of images allows Niederstrass to propose to the viewer, different readings of the work and to create a changing fiction, a multiplicity of possible narratives.
This series attempts to act as a prequel to Sickert’s paintings. Assuming that he has created these paintings using live models, Niederstrass thus chooses to re-actualize the scene Sickert would have observed before the realization of the painting in question. These re-enacted scenes always include a fully clothed male character and a nude female character.
Despite that the paintings by Walter Sickert have not been very significant for their time; their subject remains of avant-garde given that the research of this artist is akin to some contemporary practices exercised at the present time. It is also important to mention that Sickert was one of the first suspects to be interrogated in regard to the case of Jack the Ripper. Still to this day some people believe that he is the perpetrator of these crimes.
This body of work was presented in 2014 at Occurrence – Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains in Montreal.
Photo credit : Mathieu Proulx