Certain hospitals in Paris contain illustrated phenomena that have remained unseen, by the French and the world at large, until now. In "The Obscene Image", photographer Gilles Tondini reveals the frenzied frescos created by doctors and nurses who use these break rooms to let off steam in an effort to maintain sanity as they work to save lives. In these rooms known as salles de garde the rules of decorum observed throughout the hospitals take a leave of absence in the name of relieving stress. Graphic, sexually charged, saturated with color and lewd references, these images manifest all the frustrations, stresses, highs and lows that medical professionals anywhere must deal with in their quests to keep people healthy. These manic murals provide visually compelling insight into how the medical professionals of these 12 hospitals in greater Paris try to keep themselves healthy. Along with all of the sexual content, the imagery borrows heavily from high and low cultures, from the Bibles Last Judgment and chivalric tales to comic book heroes and misanthropes.
As he did with the amazing photographs that comprise Paris Underground, Tondini uses his intimate knowledge of Parisian subcultures to capture a subject more or less unknown in France, let alone the rest of the world. To that end, the book will be bilingual with all of the text appearing in English and French.
Gilles Tondini is a photographer based in France. He previously authored "Paris Underground" with MBP.