6 films
Eroticism brings into play a constant dissolution of established shapes.
- Georges Bataille
DK2R Team

We have named this theme Eros to avoid sheltering behind the false thematic prudishness of “the nude”, an anachronistic obstinacy (and for the photographer, it must be said, somewhat hypocritical) of a rather outdated pictorial genre.

This does not mean that we are unaware of the seemly distinction between the “nude” that is inherently “artistic” and erotic photography that is thereby despicable or trivial, according to the value system dear to the prefects of the Second Empire.

But we do know that eroticism lies not just in the image but also in the eye of the beholder. Paradoxically, as they work and create around this motif, modern day artists attempt above all to communicate that which is most secret and intimate.

For today’s photographers, both men and women, research on eroticism is a modern issue that lies at the centre of a broader consideration of the body, desire and disorders of the senses, at a time when notions of prudishness have shifted.

This exploration takes you to the heart of their secrets…

Films on the theme

Inside the mind of Frédéric Fontenoy

This film will introduce you to one face of erotic photography: fetishist eroticism. Through his 1930s props and scenery, Frédéric Fontenoy takes us to another place. And yet, turmoil is timeless. Know-how is the key.

His eroticism is unhurried, developed with care and over time, in dialogue with his models, and with an array of photographic techniques at his fingertips. In the end, it's the precision of the large format that probes for desire. And why not?

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Exploring the eroticism of Pierre Molinier

This film reveals the strong bonds between eroticism and surrealism, little known today. It was in the corseted France of the 1950s that Pierre Molinier claimed the "freedom of the individual” to paint and photograph as he saw fit.

Captivated by women's legs, he features them extensively in his pictures to create clever, curious photomontages. He doesn't hesitate to cross-dress, to play with his body, long before the gender debate is raised.

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Eroticism by Bettina Rheims

Bettina Rheims opens the doors of her studio in the Marais to us. We discover the famous photographer taking the time to reassure her model, and her need to set a slow pace. She looks back on her childhood, her photographic satori and everything that photography means to her.

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Snapshots : Romy Alizée

In the privacy of her apartment, we discover Romy Alizée directing bodies (women, men, non binary) with unabashed sexuality, in search of intensity and beauty. Taken using a flash, her photos affirm the power of a very personal sexuality. Between shoots and the hanging of her exhibition, the photographer unzips the heart of her work and unveils her new project: documenting sex workers far from the images that they're stuck with.

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The adventures of Romy & Laure...

Between parties with their gang of super girlfriends, occasional Boy-Gifts and Amazonian explorations, life passes quietly for Laure and Romy... But one evening..." In this photographic-cinematic tale (for adults), Romy and Laure are faced with a mysterious, terrifying apparition: a man. But they soon realise he isn't so threatening after all... A photographic film that shakes up the rule book with lots of humour.

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The adventures of Romy & Laure... Vol. 2!

This cine-tale about sex is falsely naive banter that shows everything, with the photographs of Romy Alizée. The lightness of tone serves as a decoy to better dynamite, jigsaw-style, the last clichés on female sexuality. The poster on the wall of a film by Catherine Breillat, A Real Young Girl, is a reference: Romy & Laure's "real" young girls have sex organs and do what they want with them.

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Further exploration

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• THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF THE NEW EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY - author: Maxim Jakubowski ; 2010 ; Robinson Publishing

• LE CUL DE LA FEMME - author: Pierre Louÿs ; 2018 ; Manufacture Liv ; French and English

• EROTICISM - author: Georges Bataille ; translator: Mary Dalwood ; 2012 ; Penguin Classics

• STORY OF THE EYE: BY LORD AUCH - author: Georges Bataille ; translator: Joachim Neugroschal ; 2001 ; Penguin Classics ; New Ed edition