Open to Interpretation

About the Exhibition

For this exhibit, Benoit Malphettes, a world-renowned French-American photographer, returns to the intimate and personal world of still life photography. With the help of artifacts that he has collected over the years; odd objects, fragments, old documents, whatever, until the moment comes where he no longer looks at them for what they are but, instead, he follows them within the world they invite him into. He then deliberately frees them from their static existence by combining them with unexpected company, placing them in provocative or threatening positions, until new emotions emerge — fate, affliction, fear, heartache, solitude, senescence — emotions that, sooner or later, accompany us in our journey. Many of these photographs are autobiographical and reflect his Jesuit education as well as his familiarity with French art, and may elicit some uncomfortable emotions or memories with the hope that viewers will appreciate the importance of the themes displayed.

Malphettes shared, “Certainly, the viewer will discover explicit or diffuse associations that may or may not have anything to do with my personal views, but the symbols are all there for the audience’s choosing, from time irreparably slipping away from us to the inescapable truth of death, all skillfully camouflaged by our daily subterfuges. Sometimes, I try to explain to myself the strange and disparate concoctions suggested by my photographic work but mostly, I am left with more questions than answers.”