“They use photography in spite of or beyond its presumptive objectivity,” explains the art historian Michel Thévoz, “to imbue fantasy with the stamp of realism or, inversely, to sublimate an ordinary subject.” Thévoz is speaking of Art Brut photographers, untrained artists who use cameras, negatives, and slides instinctually, and with an outsider’s sense of freedom. The French filmmaker Bruno Ducharme was among the few who recognized the power in this work, and he built up a collection of Art Brut photographs, prints, and collages. In this exhibition, Ducharme’s findings are the main focus. Four hundred works by 40 artists are presented in four sections: gender expansiveness, intimacy, image appropriation, and conjuring practices. —E.C.
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