Cover image of the review
Paul Knight, Untitled, from the series Chamber Music, 2009–, chromogenic print, 31 × 31.5 cm (framed). Courtesy of the artist and Neon Parc, Naarm/Melbourne.

Paul Knight: L'ombre de ton ombre

25 Nov 2023
Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) 7 Oct - 9 Dec 2023

Paul Knight has spent the last two decades building a body of work that is distinguished by his interest in depicting intimacy. While initially only working with photographs, his first museum survey titled L’ombre de ton ombre includes a new dimension with ambitiously sized handwoven textiles and the integration of OpenAI’s GPT-2. The exhibition is also accompanied by an informative monograph with writing by astrophysicist Katie Mack, philosopher Oxana Timofeeva, art historian Anthony Gardner, and the artist. Both the monograph and the exhibition’s installation serve as compelling and comprehensive manifestations of Knight’s ideas and practices, offering viewers distinct yet complementary insights into the artist’s work.

The exhibition’s title, L’ombre de ton ombre (The shadow of your shadow), is taken from a famous, highly poetic 1959 song “Ne me quitte pas” by singer and actor Jacques Brel, which delves into the complexity of passionate desire. “Ne me quitte pas” is often perceived simply as a love song, but it was written by Brel as a hymn to his own bad behaviour and subsequent loss. Pedro Almodóvar used the song twice in his 1987 film Law of Desire—his first film to consider homosexual relationships—and in both instances using it to signify, as does Knight, intense passion.

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