Minotaur (ˈmɪnətɔ:, ˈmʌɪ-) a creature who was half-man and half-bull, the offspring of Pasiphaë and a bull with which she fell in love. Confined in Crete in a labyrinth made by Daedalus and fed on human flesh, it was eventually slain by Theseus. Origin from Old French, via Latin from Greek Minōtauros, from Minōs + tauros ‘bull‘. (Oxford Dictionary of English)
The Greek mythology is an unprecedented drama, and it is from this mythic universe that Arnaud Delrue’s photographs take their name and inspiration. In seemingly normal surroundings we see Delrue’s human creatures stare at us as if they are overtly conscious of a presence beside themselves. Each photograph creates its own little universe in which we sense a story unfolding – a story in which the creatures seem to hesitate for a moment. Part woman and part man, Delrue’s creatures and their small worlds are unheimliche. A word used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in order to describe the feeling when the familiar and homely suddenly seem strange and un-familiar. In a way, this is all portraits staged in quotidian sceneries – so why do they seem so strangely uncanny? Is it the way the creatures stare at us? Is it the all-too-normal situations? The unmade beds and half-eaten dinners? Delrue’s Minotaures create a silent mythology that plays with the codes for femininity and masculinity, the quotidian and the fantastic.
Anna Vestergaard Jørgensen