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Cedric Delsaux
Cedric Delsaux by his son Swan Delsaux- Duval
Cedric Delsaux
Cedric Delsaux

Cedric Delsaux

Country: France
Birth: 1974

Cédric Delsaux was born in 1974. For almost 20 years, his oeuvre has sought to deconstruct our conventional view of the relationship between reality and photography. His aim is for the medium of photography to no longer directly express Reality, but rather the Fiction through which it is perceived.

First known for his work as an advertising photographer, he has since made a name for himself through his personal long-term photo series. His first, Here To Stay/Nous resterons sur terre, was published in 2008 in France, and by Monacelli Press (Random House) in the US the following year. This series takes us on a subjective tour of symbolic places in our (post)modern world; these places are at once beautiful and ugly, conventional and crazy. His second, Dark Lens, was published in France in 2011 by Éditions Xavier Barral, distributed in the US by D.A.P., and translated into Japanese through publisher X-Knowledge.

George Lucas wrote the foreword to the book. Dark Lens places characters from the Star Wars saga into real-world settings—like Dubai, Lille or the banlieue of Paris—and reveals the extent to which our perception of a city passes through the filter of fiction. In his next series, Échelle 1, he asked random passers-by to stand on a white wooden base, instantly transforming them into 1:1 scale figurines.

For his 2014 book, Zone de repli, published by Éditions Xavier Barral, he spent three years reexploring an infamous news story, revisiting the haunts of a notorious imposter-murderer. The series he made with "France Territoire Liquide", a group co-founded with three other photographers, featured in an exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 2017 (Paysages français: Une aventure photographique) and in a collected volume published by Éditions du Seuil ("Fiction&Cie" collection).

Welcome to the Dark Corporation.

It all began over 14 years ago with Dark Lens, Delsaux's initial series combining everyday places with the universe of Star Wars. Hailed an international success (...), it was honored by the Master himself, George Lucas.*

After taking a break, Cédric Delsaux now reawakens the fantasy with this new opus, irreversibly breaking down the boundaries between Reality and Fiction...

While the vehicles and characters of the famous Star Wars saga still haunt the real-world places he shoots—like Paris, Dubai, Marseilles, and Abu Dhabi—, this time Delsaux has worked with a full team (designer, 3D graphic artists, retouchers) to further tear back the veil between true and false, to the point that we begin to wonder if even the slightest frontier still remains.

What was originally a simple confrontation between Reality and Science Fiction is finished; now the World and the "Dark Corporation" become one. It is as if the characters of the series have now permanently settled on Earth, bringing with them their ancient powers. These new residents have acquired their own vehicles, which are inspired by the Hollywood saga but recreated in the style of earthlings, borrowing design and techniques from the world that came before, the one that belonged to humankind...

With this approach Cédric Delsaux combines two opposing states, reality and fantasy, as if to suggest that one can no longer be perceived without the other. The present of his photographs is no longer in the indicative, but is modified using some unknown conjugation to produce a sort of present of the conditional, distorting Roland Barthe's formula "this has been" into a puzzling "and if this was".

Delsaux also uses his sets to suggest a looming, insidious threat. Each piece of land he captures depicts the latent conflict between human beings and the technology they have created...

And he has an original way of exploiting the modern myth that is Star Wars to summon up all the anxieties and ambitions of a generation abandoned at the edge of the gaping chasm left by the disappearance of the Grand Narratives.

Designer Vincent Gravière
 

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Claude Cahun
France
1894 | † 1954
Claude Cahun (25 October 1894 - 8 December 1954), born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French Surrealist photographer, sculptor and writer. Schwob adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun in 1914 and is best known for their self-portraits, in which they assume a variety of personae. Cahun's work was both political and personal, and often undermined traditional concepts of static gender roles. In their autobiography, Disavowals, they explained their rejection of gender, "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me." This declaration is an important consideration when analysing Cahun's photography as they intentionally play with and subvert the viewers' understanding of gender. This quote, together with their unconventional appearance and their gender-ambiguous pseudonym, means that it is not infrequent to see the pronoun 'they' used nowadays in critical studies on Cahun. There is no evidence that they ever adopted 'they' as their preferred pronoun, but one should take into account the cultural and historical context behind this. Given that French pronouns were extremely binary and the use of gender neutral pronouns for nonbinary individuals wasn't common in the European interwar period, it isn't unreasonable to imagine Cahun would have used gender neutral pronouns had it not been for their environment. In any case, the use of the gender neutral pronouns in reference to Cahun is less of an attempt to apply contemporary norms to a historical figure, but rather a way for their gender to remain an open question in academia. During WWII, Cahun was also active as a resistance worker and propagandist. Source: Wikipedia
Jorge Pozuelo
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Lotta Lemetti
Finland
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Lotta Lemetti is a photographer with a unique vision that embraces the beauty of the simple and mundane. Her minimal aesthetic carries through the diverse work she loves to make and she's not afraid to use alternative processes, mixed media and graphic design in her image making. The native of Finland obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the NewYork Film Academy, and was also the recipient of the highly prestigious Fulbright undergraduate award in 2015, one of only 3 Finnish winners that year and the only grantee in the field of arts. Her work has since been exhibited in galleries around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Italy, and Finland. Lotta is constantly sought after by leading artists in her field, and has worked alongside many, including award-winning photographer and visual artist Amanda Rowan, named Chromatic Photographer of the Year 2018 for her achievements in color photography and Photo District News' The Curator Fine Art competition in Still Life in 2019, whose work has been exhibited in Photo LA, and Paris Photo as well as the Wall Street Gallery and the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, and on display at the Palms with Damien Hirst, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Takashi Murakami, and Photographer/Visual Artist Naomi White, winner of Photo District News' Objects of Desire award and has exhibited throughout North America and Europe, including with Tobey Fine Arts, Christopher Henry Gallery and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York. In 2018, Lemetti's latest photography series Kekta won the title of Latitude Life APS Photographer of the Year. Kekta was then exhibited in New York and the city of Pravisdomini, Italy. Ms. Lemetti's work has been featured in FAYN Magazine, U+I Magazine, NewBeauty Magazine, PhotoVogue and FLOAT Magazine. Kekta is an exploration of cultural blending and national identity. These photographs originate from her own experience of living between two cultures. She created scenes that are inspired by the immemorial beliefs of unity between humans and nature, and cultural traditions that have been passed on for generations in the form of oral folk tales about Finnish mythology. The stories are hand picked from the Finnish national epic Kalevala, which is a book of poems collected from different regions of Finland and then stitched together into one cohesive story. I took these individual stories and photographed them in a variety of American landscapes, with people from different ethnic backgrounds, creating a new narrative of polycultural identity. Today, we live in a global age, which means that we must reconsider the old ways of thinking about national identity. People are no longer bound by the geographical borders of countries and only a few places on earth can be said to remain monocultural. Bigger metropolis cities are starting to resemble a ‘human mosaic' in which we are moving from multiculturalism, which emphasises the coexistence of different individual cultures to polyculturalism, which indicates the integratedness of the cultures.
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Lu Nan is a contemporary photographer who was born in Beijing, China in 1962. After working for National Pictorial for 5 years, he decided to become an independent photographer. From 1989 to 1990, he shot a series of images of the living conditions of patients in Chinese mental hospitals. From 1992 to 1996, he shot a series of images about Catholicism in China. From 1996 to 2004, he shot a series of images of the daily life of Tibetan farmers. Lu Nan is known as "the most legendary photographer in China". He is also the only Chinese contemporary photographer chosen by Aperture magazine as a topic colon. Lu Nan is constantly invited to participate in numerous exhibitions; however, he is extremely selective about the exhibitions he is involved with. Lu also refused to have his portrait taken by others, so it’s very rare to see any photo documentations of him. For fifteen years, Lu has been leading a life that is almost like a monk, spending his time working and studying, as he believes that “good stuff comes out of reticence.” Since 1989, Lu Nan has spent 15 years completing his trilogy of photographic series: The Forgotten People, China's Catholicism and Four Seasons in Tibet. These images have allowed Nan to place himself in the international spotlight. But perhaps more importantly, he became one of the first people who exposed another side of Chinese society; people often considered outcasts. “I just respect them and care about them… They are the same as us,” said Lu as a reminder that all human beings are equal and deserve dignity. His black and white photographs depict people within their own environment by using a rather straight glance, which is yet associated with delicate contrasts and elegant compositions.Source: Wikipedia Correspondent for the prestigious international cooperative Magnum Photos since the 1990s, Lu Nan 呂楠 (born in 1962 in Beijing) is an independent photographer who has been documenting marginalized people in China. His pivotal series started in 1989 with The Forgotten People: The Condition of China’s Psychiatric Patients. Pursing his intentions to document Chinese people from the margins of society, his subsequent series captured members of the Catholic Faith (On The Road: The Catholic Faith in China, 1992-1996), peasants’ life in Tibet (Four Seasons: Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants, 1996-2004), and prisoner’s conditions (Prisons of North Burma, 2006).Source: photographyofchina.com “In 15 years, not a day went by when I didn’t question my own work,” says Chinese photographer Lu Nan, in an interview included in his new book Trilogy. “That’s why I scrutinize what I was doing by means of reading. This mode of assessing action through thought and assessing thought through action helped me to complete these projects." “The trilogy is concerned with human beings. I hope that by looking into real life, I’ll find something fundamentally and enduringly human.” Lu Nan isn’t well known outside China but this book, his first in English, should change all that. It collects together three projects he shot over 15 years – The Forgotten People, a look at the lives of Chinese psychiatric patients, shot from 1989-1990; On the Road, a look at the lives of Catholics in China, shot from 1992-96; and Four Seasons, a look at the lives of rural Tibetans, shot from 1996-2004. These microcosms are apparently very different and yet, to Lu Nan, they’re intimately interrelated. Inspired by image-makers such as Josef Sudek and Sebastiao Salgado and extremely well-read, Lu Nan says the three projects represent the three states of life – The Forgotten People is about suffering and adversity, On the Road purification, and Four Seasons about a blessed, serene state.Source: British Journal of Photography
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After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, "For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday.Source: Magnum Photos His technique: Henri Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "Impolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image. Henri Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing." He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as "my only superstition" as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Henri Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv."Source: Wikipedia Henri Cartier-Bresson has intuitively chronicled decisive moments of human life around the world with poetic documentary style. His photographs impart spontaneous instances with meaning, mystery, and humor in terms of precise visual organization, and his work, although tremendously difficult to imitate, has influenced many other photographers. His photographs may be summed up through a phrase of his own: "the decisive moment," the magical instant when the world falls into apparent order and meaning, and may be apprehended by a gifted photographer.Source: International Center of Photography
Hoang Long Ly
Vietnam
1965
Ly Hoang Long was born in 1965 in Dalat, a city located on the high plateaus of central Vietnam. Since childhood, the photographer has been fascinated by colours and images and began his professional career as a graphic designer. He discovered photography in 1993 through a friend, bought his first analogue reflex and two years later, made a dark room in his apartment. One thing led to another and he definitely abandoned design in order to devote his time to his images. With over twenty years experience to his name and 310 international prizes, including that of best travel photographer in 2014 (TFOTY). Several of his pictures also won awards in the same year at the CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year and from National Geographic. Mud wrestling Mud wrestling with a ball was a traditional game organized every four year in Van village, Bac Ninh province, the north of Vietnam. Like basket ball, but instead of the baskets hanging up, here there were two holes (like a goal) and the playing ground was filled up with wet mud, there were 16 players divided into two teams, they competed vigorously to score by putting the heavy wooden ball in their competitors's hole. The audiences supported all the teams, they were screamming and laughing because the game looked so amusing; it was not easy at all to seized a ball, keep it in arms and run on the slippery surface and cross a barrier of competitors. After three day-competing, the both teams would gather in the courtyard of the temple to worship their ancestors, the game completely ended in peace and happiness.
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