Rarefied Hyères

What might be the most elusive photography exhibit ever was staged over the weekend at the Hyères fashion festival, devoted to Steven Klein’s most memorable magazine work from the past decade. One of the event’s organizers revealed the project was particularly difficult to carry out, which might explain why it won’t be staged anywhere ever again.

Neither cameras nor children were allowed into the exhibition space at the Villa Noailles, which was pitch-black except for a wall on which Klein’s pictures were projected at a clipped pace, with throbbing club music as the soundtrack. From a distant guardrail, guests were treated to mesmerizing flashes of some of Klein’s most potent fashion images: the cinematic men’s swimwear story in L’Uomo Vogue, Tom Ford’s impersonation of a futuristic bisexual, those iconic Madonna and Brad Pitt spreads.

Then the music abruptly stopped and the screen read: “The hallucination is over, thank you.” Those lucky enough to see it won’t soon forget it.

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