In Le Mépris (Contempt), the screenwriter and director Jean-Luc Godard drew a parallel between a fictional narrative and his own failing marriage. In the film, Camille Javal (Brigitte Bardot) becomes increasingly distanced from her husband Paul (Michel Piccoli). In his series “After Le Mépris,” John Massey focuses on a central scene from the film—a quarrel that takes place between the Javals in a modern, white apartment in Rome. To create the pristine interiors in his photographs, Massey built a small reproduction of the apartment by watching the film numerous times and counting the steps taken by the actors. The white spaces, combined with bright blue sky or water, and punctuated with vivid red and yellow objects, create a surreal mood and suggest a narrative to viewers, even if they are not aware of the images’ cinematic source.
Label from Looking Out and Looking In: A Selection of Contemporary Photography, January 19–June 9, 2013