All posts tagged: France

Mathieu Pernot’s 20-year project Les Gorgan

When approaching Mathieu Pernot’s 20-year-spanning work on a Roma family settled in southern France, you should leave all misconceptions and prejudices aside, as he did, and read the introduction to Les Gorgan, the photobook published by Editions Xavier Barral to accompany his critically-acclaimed exhibition at this year’s Rencontres d’Arles festival. When he began, the French photographer writes, he didn’t know anything about the Gorgan family, nor was he aware that its members had been living in France for over a century. It was to be a transformative experience, one that led Pernot to witness the birth of a child for the first time, attend funerals and engage in a type of intimacy that only time and surrender can offer.

2017-10-04T17:46:33+00:00

Helping refugees starts in London with Giles Duley’s interactive exhibition

“The exhibition just becomes this transition point. There will be new artwork created by the exhibition. I think that’s exciting: it means it becomes alive. These often tragic stories will continue living in other forms, whether through painting or through music, so it’s about making the exhibition a place of life and a celebration of that life,” says Giles Duley, the photographer who has spent months travelling Europe and the Middle East to document the refugee crisis with UNHCR. Taking images from his photobook, I Can Only Tell You What I See, the display will feature artists in residence, a soundscape from Massive Attack and will host an evening supper so as visitors can sit and discuss the work and the wider problems surrounding the refugee crisis.

2017-10-05T12:11:34+00:00

Winner of the 2017 Firecracker Photographic Grant revealed

“Between colonialism and cosmopolitism, between a sense of not belonging and their nationality, many use the word Schizophrenie to describe how it is to construct their identity in the middle of two antagonistic cultures,” explains Carolina Arantes. Her project, First Generation, follows the lives of young Afro-French women living in the Parisian suburbs as they overcome prejudices and culture clashes. It has now been awarded the 2017 Firecracker Photographic Grant, securing Arantes £2,000 to help her complete the project.

2017-09-01T15:36:39+00:00

Opening closed doors in Vincent Ferrané’s Milky Way

“I have simply seen breastfeeding as an act of life and love that is not always an easy task, and that therefore is deserving of encouragement in its all dimensions, psychological, physical and social,” says Vincent Ferrané, whose photobook Milky Way is a testament to his wife and women everywhere as they begin their lives as mothers. The series focuses on breastfeeding, a natural act that can sometimes cause controversy when brought into the public sphere. Ferrané’s photobook hopes to move past that and reclaim the breast as an empowering part of the female body.

2017-10-05T12:06:39+00:00

Interview: Aurore Valade “The magic of photography is trying to capture a shifting reality”

For two months last April and May, Aurore Valade isolated herself in a remote village in the Haute-Bigorre region of France. The result? Her photography project Se Manifester, which has been awarded this year’s Photo Folio Review at the Rencontres d’Arles festival. “Etymologically, ‘to manifest’ is the action of making visible. I feel that could be a beautiful definition of photography too,” says Valade.

2017-07-18T14:39:41+00:00

Project: Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson’s Bleu Blanc Rouge

“Everything in France over the last year-and-a-half has given a different context to the pictures I’ve made,” says Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson. “There’s a darkness now that wasn’t there when I began.” We’re discussing his series Bleu Blanc Rouge, an open-ended meditation on French identity and culture he’s currently editing into a book. He started it back 2010, on a residency in South France, but the work has taken on new resonance, after a spate of terrorist attacks in France and the rise of ultra-nationalist Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. In fact the series now seems timely – prophetic even – but then Anderson’s work often does. He released Stump, a photobook satirising the American presidential circus, back in 2014, two years before the upset election of Donald Trump; and he released Capitolio, a dark vision of the Venezuelan capital, in 2011, two years before the death of President Hugo Chavez and the economic and political crisis now playing out on Caracas’ streets. “I have noticed that,” he says, when I point out his talent for …

2017-06-13T15:16:14+00:00

Christophe Gin wins 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award

Christophe Gin has been awarded the 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award, winning a €50,000 grant for Colonie, his work ruminating on lawless areas in France. Created in 2009, the award has sponsored photojournalism in conflict zones and neglected regions; previous winners include Robin Hammond (featured in our latest Portrait issue) and recent Magnum Photos nominee Newsha Tavakolian. The award was mired in controversy last year, after Tavakolian contended that the foundation’s benefactor, French investment banker Edouard Carmignac began to interfere with with the presentation of her work to an “unacceptable” degree. The foundation disputed her remarks, claiming the postponing of her project was due to purported threats to the photographer’s safety, which it said Tavakolian reported. It would seem any acrimony has abated, however – Tavakolian’s work will be part of the Carmignac Foundation’s upcoming retrospective at Saatchi Gallery, London. It features 40 works produced since the award’s inception by all laureates – Kai Wiedenhöfer, Massimo Berruti, Robin Hammond, David Monteleone, Tavakolian and this year’s winner Christophe Gin. Colonie, Gin’s winning project delved into French Guiana, a region in …

2016-08-01T15:38:02+00:00

Symbolic portraits locating femininity between two cultures

Ritual, family heritage and decorative costumes are at the heart of Marie Hudelot’s series of portraits. Dressing her subjects with jewels, feathers, flowers and ribbons, she explores themes of femininity, honour, seduction and youthfulness. “I wanted to create a set of symbolic portraits inspired by my background,” explains Hudelot, born in Toulon in 1981. “My mother is Algerian and my father is French. I used the pictorial tradition of still life and created characters where the objects [they hold or wear] come from different customs.” The series is partly inspired by the 1983 Woody Allen mockumentary Zelig, about a man (played by Allen) who changes his character to fit in with the people around him. “This film was a reference in that I wanted to create caricatures, but not in a critical way,” she explains. “The idea was to suggest different characters.” One of the central themes running through the work is the notion of femininity. “Growing up, I learned different things about what it means to be a woman,” says Hudelot. “For example, in Algerian culture, women often have …

2015-10-19T10:44:11+00:00

The democratic defacement of French political posters

During France’s presidential election in 2012, Pascal Fellonneau began photographing election posters obsessively. “I had occasionally photographed them before, but when I saw posters everywhere in the runup to the last election, I decided to start a new body of work,” says the 46 year old, who divides his time between Paris and Bordeaux. “I took daily walks looking for bills posted around Paris.” It was both an exercise in portrait photography and a way of documenting French politics. Rather than deliberately making the politicians into parody by using a wide-angle lens to create distortion, Fellonneau comes in close, framing their faces tightly. Despite this, “they look like caricatures due to they way they have been displayed and intervened upon”. The posters are often ripped, crinkled or defaced: eyes are occasionally blacked or scratched out, and some of the posters have been covered in paint or have been drawn on. “There is a tradition in France of drawing glasses, moustaches, beards or penises on posters of politicians’ faces. I think it’s a symptom of the mistrust people have of politics. People sometimes …

2015-10-06T11:19:58+00:00

One Stephen Shore student is setting Paris alight

“I choose to work without limits. I follow my instincts and allow my subconscious to be in control. By neither having a theme nor a structured project, I am able to keep my photographic process as natural and intuitive as possible,” says 27-year-old Louis Heilbronn. His first exhibition, Meet Me On The Surface, at the Galerie Polaris in Paris in February 2013, was a revelation for many. Brigitte Ollier, art critic for the French daily Libération, described his images as “gifted, with a captivating power”, while Claire Guillot of Le Monde wrote that their charm came from their elusive nature. Heilbronn’s large-format photos, which were shown as small 23×30cm prints, flowed like an organic stream of consciousness, mixing portraits of loved ones such as his girlfriend with shots of strangers, images of everyday objects, and an array of varying landscapes. With no indication as to when or how far apart they were taken, the images created a quiet riddle to which each spectator found his own answer. The Brooklyn-based photographer graduated from the photography programme …

2015-08-28T13:37:27+00:00

BJP Staff