Eye of the Tiger, Oscar Guermouche

Posted in art, Artist Book, film, photography on September 10th, 2021
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The artist’s publication Eye of the Tiger is composed of close-ups of the eyes of 99 male characters from various films. The stills portray the characters in situations where they are driven into some sort of readiness; these stares express everything from controlled calm to furious aggression. The films were all released between 1977 and 2000, the formative years of Guermouche’s childhood and coming of age, including schooling, sexual debut and military service.

The black wooden pattern on the cover, along with the blackened edges and the deep black endpapers, are reminiscent of the installations in the form of barricades that Guermouche has created in recent years, for example the work “You Made Me” (ICIA, 2016) in Gothenburg. The dust jacket is made out of Swedish kraft paper, which draws ammunition packaging to mind. The metallic foiling refers to the machine as a male ideal, and to the steely-eyed stare. The black-and-white images with their graininess and deep black, give the impression of memories rather than direct depictions.

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