Paris Opera Project 1990-91
Paris Opera Project 1990-91

Bill Henson

1955 - Paris Opera Project 1990-91 1990-91
  • Type C colour photograph
125 cm x 125 cm

As a medium, photography is noted for its 'honesty', in that it implies certain pictorial facts. Further implicit in this is that photography captures forever a fleeting moment in time.

Bill Henson pushes at these fundamental photographic concepts by presenting us with immense, painterly and at once ephemeral images. The dark photographs, coupled with their perspex glazing (the artist's choice), render the works difficult to view in entirety: indeed, we see as much of the image itself as we do of our environment and ourselves.

The Paris Opera Series, which includes Romantic landscapes juxtaposed with portraits of opera patrons, serves to remind us of our own transient existence foiled by the sublimity of the natural world. The pathos of the landscape is both emphasised and dissipated by the vanity of the opera goers; in them we can quite literally see our own reflections.


© Bill Henson


More by this artist

Bill Henson 1955 - untitled (island)
  • archival inkjet pigment print
180 cm x 127 cm

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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