Laloua / Didier Pascal, REHAB
January 20 / March 10, 2008
REHAB is a project about a recent media phenomenon. A
growing number of advertisements, commercials, reports, TV programmes
and even everyday news items have become pure entertainment. Their boundaries
and links to reality are eroding: they are becoming increasingly autonomous.
This trend is most recognisable in the global interest in ‘celebs’
like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Pete Doherty. People we have come
to associate with the vapidity and emptiness of contemporary life. Nonetheless,
they grace the covers of glossy magazines almost daily, and even pervade
the serious media. Is this merely one of the traits of an aggressive omniscient
media industry or something closer to a modern morality tale?
Photographer Nick Ût, who in June 2007 captured a sobbing Paris Hilton on her way to prison, took the famous photograph of the Vietnamese girl fleeing naked from a napalm attack exactly 35 years earlier. All that unites the two images is a weeping woman, without which the photographs are poles apart. The 1972 photo came to symbolise American defeat in Vietnam, while the mug shot of Paris is a portrait of interminable vapidity. It is a one-liner: Paris is going into rehab. And she’s not the only one. Britney Spears re-enters rehab almost every month and now the incorrigible Pete has reappeared – really and truly reborn.