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Figure Figure

Symphonie fantastique 2

Symphonie fantastique 2

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From the Symphonie fantastique series

Pigment ink print on cotton rag paper
22 x 17 in. / 55.9 x 43.2 cm
Edition of 5 (+ 1 artist proof)

In Symphonie fantastique, Paluzzi references his own queer body and the rich history of LGBTQIA+ artists – Claude Cahun, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Paul Mpagu Sepuya — creating self-portraits as a form of self-expression, self-exploration, and self-acceptance. In these four photographs, mirroring the first four acts of Berlioz’s symphony about love, death, and obsession, Paluzzi positions himself between his camera and projections of images by Wilhelm von Gloeden, creating a space between his own mortal body and the ideal ones von Gloeden created. 

Wilhelm von Gloeden travelled to southern Italy in his early twenties in order to find reprieve from various health concerns. What he found, however, was a desire to explore male sexuality through photography, much of which was destroyed during the war because of its perceived perversity. von Gloeden’s work stands as one of the earliest examples of queer self-portraiture that – even then – attempted to merge contemporary bodies with Greek sculpture of ideal human forms, which have remained common visual motifs for many queer and non-queer photographers through the history of photography.

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