All posts tagged: France

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

Shooting Stars: Capturing the “arrogance and vulnerability” of the famous

Mathieu César’s aesthetic may be classic, but the approach is resolutely contemporary, and that mix has seduced some of the biggest players in the fashion world – from the former editor of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld to Christian Lacroix, the woman behind the French fashion label. “Referencing past masters of the fashion image in the simplicity of his contrasted composition, Mathieu César subverts the classical genre by capturing a contemporary generation of beautiful and damned subjects in sometimes surreal scenes that somehow manage to feel uncontrived,” says another fan, Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, creative content director at Nowness. “His photographs of models, musicians and assorted cool kids flirt with emotion and raw beauty, and his subjects blend arrogance and vulnerability.” A former hairdresser, César got his break with a short film he made of his brother, the ballet dancer Jean-Sébastien Colau. For two months, the French cinema chain MK2 showed the documentary before every feature. He quit his job, joined a production company, and within six weeks was in Mongolia on assignment for Louis Vuitton. “They asked me to shoot videos and photos. …

2015-08-28T13:36:35+00:00

Hyeres looking at you

The shortlist is out for this year’s International Festival of Fashion & Photography in Hyeres, including ten photographers drawn from across Europe and beyond. This year is the 30th time the festival has taken place, and publisher Gerhard Steidl took part in a high-profile photography jury that also included: Anne Cartier-Bresson, director of the Atelier de Restauration et de Conservation des Photographies de la Ville de Paris (ARCP); Jean-Luc Monterosso, founder and director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; and the photographer Sølve Sundsbø. The shortlisted photographers, who were drawn from more than 700 entries, are: Jeannie Abert, France; Sushant Chabria, India; Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Poland; Evangelia Kranioti, Greece; Sjoerd Knibbeler, Netherlands; David Magnusson, Sweden; Filippo Patrese, Italy; Thomas Rousset, France; Polly Tootal, United Kingdom; and Oezden Yorulmaz, Germany. [bjp_ad_slot] The shortlisted photographers’ work will go on show at the Villa Noailles in Hyeres from 23 April – 24 May, and will be invited to present their work to the jury in person at portfolio reviews during the festival weekend, 23-27 April. The …

2015-04-28T10:07:16+00:00

BJP Staff