It seems one cannot produce and display meaningful art without inciting controversy. Diane Ducruet is a French photographer who shatters the superficiality of the traditional happy-looking family.
At first glance, it looks like everyone in the family is having fun, acting out goofy scenarios for the camera. Well, yes, it’s a family of artists, and each seems comfortable revealing playful, creative poses that are far from ordinary family snapshots. But on closer examination, we see that this extended performance of role-playing and intimate interactions is serious art, and not quite so light and frivolous as it seems at first. -Jim Casper, lensculture
In 2014, this photograph was removed from a gallery exhibition in Paris after seven anonymous letters prompted the gallerist and the director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie to censor the work. It was to be featured in an exhibition whose theme was intimacy.
The irony is that the actual complaints were about an image showing Ducruet and her daughter in a portrait, kissing playfully, appearing in a flyer promoting the show. According to Le Monde, the worry was that the image might incite incest or pedophilia, with one letter reportedly coming from an actual victim of incest. Even though the offending photograph was not included in the show, the objections did prompt directors to remove Mother and Daughter II instead.
I still don’t understand how a gallerist and the director of an institution that is supposed to promote artists’ work could have, without even the slightest threat, on simple anonymous requests, and without really knowing my past and current work, decided to remove my work … -Diane Ducruet, rue89
One of the ignored aspects of such controversies is that a discussion that should have taken place about the artist’s intent gets shouted out. I personally would like to know the thought process behind this fractured image.
In 2008, the artist published a book featuring a number of family-themed series including ‘Mother and Daughter’ called Family Games.