Published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Maison européenne de la photographie (Paris, April 20th – June 18th 2017), as the preavious books in 2007 and 2013, this year’s catalogue offers a great opportunity to look back over the career of a French photographer and artist whose body of work is so coherent that it seems necessary to approach it as a whole. Only then can we grasp the meaning of Martial’s new series, Body ergo sum.
For years, Martial Cherrier’s body and body image have been as one. The bodybuilder’s body, images of bodybuilding -one body, multiple images. Today, having depicted the body glorified, evolving, damaged, aging, Martial Cherrier has created a new aesthetic- an aesthetic situated in the environment of dreams and imagery from his youth.
The photographs Martial Cherrier offers us hic et nunc result from intense negotiations with himself -the self-image with which he works and plays, and whose loss he must accept with time- and in original artistic work combining memory, reflection and collaging. His self-portrait proves to be complex, composite, contextual, conditioned. Like Nietzsche’s superman, Martial Cherrier invents a world shaped by the compelling desire to forever incarnate a glorious and deified body.