infos pratiques

Passage du Désir
85-87 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
F-75010 PARIS
Métro Château d'eau (4) or Gare de l'est (4, 5, 7)

Tel: + 33 (1) 56 41 36 04


Miranda Salt
Project Director

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infos pratiques

CLAYTON BURKHART: Orpheus Descending

“Orpheus Descending” is a photographic voyage through the streets of New York at night that occupies a space somewhere between dream and reality. Lost in a garden of steel, stone, concrete and neon, it adopts the point of view of an anonymous wanderer in this mythic city. Photographed over a span of twenty years, it represents a descent into another kind of world. As in the myth of Orpheus it speaks of absence and loss by what is not there; an empty chair, a wet, almost deserted street. We sense there is a personal story behind these pictures without ever having been given all the specific details. The point of view is interiorized and often intimate, even if its subjects are mostly exterior.

Faces are transformed into a blur of colour, or simply stare out at us as if from another time. Expressionist in saturated colour and form, the grain of the film mixes with the rain until one cannot be separated from the other.

Exhibition composed of 12 large format prints, 25 small, and a 15 minute film projected onto a giant screen (4m X 7.5m).

Curator: Catherine Mathis

Exhibition produced by the Passage du Désir with support from Première Heure and BETC.


Clayton Burkhart

Clayton Burkhart was born in Buffalo, New York (United States) in 1966. Brought up by a sculptor father and a painter/designer mother, his first expression took the form of writing and poetry before turning to photography. At fifteen he discovered the darkroom and the camera. Later, he studied photography and cinema at New York University, graduating from the School of Arts in 1989. For the next few years he assisted several well-known fashion photographers, arriving in Paris in 1992. Since that time, Clayton has been splitting his time between New York, Paris and Milan pursuing, parallel to his personal work, a career in fashion and advertising.

In 2004, he renewed his interest in film, and his first commercial and artistic works remain faithful to the spirit of his photographic work.


Le Passage du Désir - chez BETC - 85/87 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin 75010 PARIS - Tél: + 33(0)1 56 41 36 04