‘The chosen’, a series of 13 photographs, each capturing a single person cooling off at Paris’s annual summer ‘Paris Plage’ on the banks of the Seine, was photographed by Fahd during a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in 2003. Fahd’s photographs often rely on chance conditions or encounters. ‘As the chooser’, says Fahd, ‘I had to be invisible; I couldn’t let them see me seeing them. It is this difference between knowing you are being photographed and not knowing, that is documented in ‘The chosen’'.1 In this instance the suspended moment becomes transformative. The young woman’s stance in ‘The chosen, Africa’, like the other images in the series, resonates with the memory of figural poses from classical and religious art. An ecstatic aspect is also enhanced because at first glance the source of the water (or in this case, adoration) and its effect are not obvious.
Fahd’s drawing on representational histories and conventions, particularly in the depiction of feminine subjectivity, has been observed in reference to her earlier work; as has her eye for the details of everyday life. Her work has been described as possessing a ‘playful spirit and uncanny sense of composition’.2 While Fahd sometimes stages her scenarios, her images are not digitally manipulated, relying instead on the technique of the ‘snapshot’ and the unfolding of events.
1. 2004, ‘Cherine Fahd: the chosen’, Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney p 2
2. Millner J 2002, ‘Cherine Fahd’,’ Into the blue’, Monash University Museum of Art, Clayton
© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007
type C photograph
130.0 x 58.0 cm image
Signature & date
Signed and dated lower verso, pencil "... 2003/2004 CFahd".
Viktoria Marinov Bequest Fund 2004
Not on display
© Cherine Fahd
Shown in 1 exhibition
Hold still: the photographic performance, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 May 2018–29 Jul 2018
Referenced in 2 publications
Bronwyn Clark-Coolee, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Time - memory - people', pg.246-265, Sydney, 2007, 250 (colour illus.), 264 (colour illus.).
The Chosen, 2004, 7 (colour illus.).