Noted editor, photographer, and cartoon caricature of an artsy douchebag Olivier Zahm has a new photo show up in L.A. called “The Secrets Of Photographing Women.” Many have checked it out hoping to learn whatever sexy secret Zahm might have to impart, but the joke’s on them, because the secret is that there is no secret. Olivier, you clever trickster you!


“I guess the interesting thing is the book is all about the secret, but there really is no secret…It’s that all women are a secret that we try to understand.”

Did you hear that, ladies? You might like to think of yourselves as fully realized human beings, but according to Olivier Zahm you are actually just big, confusing secrets walking around on two legs, which “we” (i.e. sleazy photographers) must get naked–err, I mean “create an emotional contact with“–in order to decipher what cute kitty cat thoughts might be running through those pretty, estrogen-addled little heads of yours. How very nineteenth century!

Now, look. I know that you can never truly know another person, because existentialism. I also know that a great photographer can reveal things about a subject without using any words. But the gendered way he twists this concept around makes me think of all the terribly de-humanizing things that have been said in the past (and present) about woman-as-mysterious-sexy-animal-child until I want to puke. I recommend ten cc’s of The Feminine Mystique stat, followed by a swift kick in the ego.