A social media advert targeted at my middle-aged eyes suggested that old retinas lose their ability to register colour. Traoré’s photographs render this sales pitch obsolete. Even when printed in monochrome, these images scream uncontrollably. They are saturated with colour and noxious self-obsession, the kind of aspirational self-harm made glamourous by Goldin and cos-played by Tillmans. Bodies clash with lights in front of Traoré’s Narcissus camera. They do so not for art but for that Instagram algorithm whose promise I must miss out on.
It needn’t have been so. Traoré wants these images to speak with Apollinaire and Rilke, or at least Björk and Pink Floyd. But not one of these correspondents sought life entirely within his or her body. Traoré, a self-professed obsessive storyteller might one day look past such carnal fixation.