Paris Photo 2015: Leica presents the exhibition ‘J’étais là’ by Stéphane Duroy and Paulo Nozolino
Leica Camera AG has been a partner of Paris Photo, the prestigious fine art photography fair, for more than ten years now. This year, the company is once again demonstrating its engagement for photography and exceptional artists by presenting the work of Stéphane Duroy and Paulo Nozolino, an exhibition initiated by Paul Cottin, in the Grand Palais from 12 to 15 November 2015. As artists in residence at the GwinZegal Art Centre in Guingamp, both photographers focused their objective, uncompromising photographic eye on Brittany, thus capturing their personal impressions of the region.
‘Stéphane Duroy and Paulo Nozolino share the attitude – which is characterised by mistrust – with regard to photography as a medium for showing the world in all its complexity. Unsparing vistas, an aversion of large dimensions, and the bare simplicity of their images characterise both artists’ photographic depiction of central Brittany. These works consciously explore the “disqualified” elements of a regional identity that is predominantly expressed in folkloristic and pictorial narratives,’ explains Paul Cottin.
‘The remaining vestiges of a normal life pushed to the fringe narrate a completely different “story” about the world of a primarily agricultural society that is slowly disappearing. By doing so, this questions the values of our modern, anthropocentric and “virtualised” social structures. In their work, the photographers closely examine a rural area of central Brittany. The appearance of the region is characterised by the increasingly greater dimensions of industrialised farming units, the numbers of which are, however, in constant decline – each accompanied by villages that seem to have lost their will to live.
Paulo Nozolino’s images are remarkably intense and rich in contrast – and, in some cases, tend towards the abstract. They altogether provide a forecast of further societal development. By consciously omitting any clear identification in terms of location, the works transgress strictly geographical boundaries and become valid for regions far beyond the bounds of central Brittany.
In his work, Stéphane Duroy addresses concrete themes such as time, the uniqueness of locations and the meaning of religious belief – and he even journeys into the realm of photojournalism. By mixing colour and monochrome images, the work of Stéphane Duroy – which always strives to depict realities with the greatest possible precision – illustrates the multiple facets of the artist’s subjects with revelations that are anything but clear,’ continues Paul Cottin.
Duroy’s work is being presented for the first time in the course of this year’s Paris Photo. Signed copies of the book will also be available at the fair.
Stéphane Duroy was born in Tunisia in 1948 and lives in France. In 1977, he began a project on the great upheavals in British society under the regime of Margaret Thatcher and continued this theme in the former German Democratic Republic and Poland. Stéphane Duroy shoots very few photos with a minimum of resources and applies only subtle treatment to them without any colour effects (mixing colour with black and white) to depict a 20th-century Europe scarred by two horrific wars. He sees it as his duty to keep remembering the past. Stéphane Duroy now concentrates increasingly on books as his medium and has published various titles such as L’Europe du Silence, Unknown, Distress and Geisterbild, published by Editions Filigranes.
Paulo Nozolino was born in 1955 in Lisbon, Portugal. He is one of the world’s outstanding contemporary photographers. Nozoliono’s works – exclusively in black and white – show Asia, Europa and the Arab world as realms of incredible darkness that appear to be totally impermeable to light. In the 30 years of his career as a photographer, Nozolino has intensified his tragic view on life that has its roots in his own biography. Paulo Nozolino’s work has been published in the titles Penumbra by Editions Scalo as well as Far Cry, Makulatur and bone lonely by Steidl.
About the engagement of Leica Camera AG for photography
Leica Camera AG shares the works of contemporary artists and their multifaceted approaches to photography in a global network of 14 galleries. Other aspects of the company’s engagement include participation at festivals such as Les Rencontres d’Arles and ImageSingulières in Sète as well as partnerships with international fairs like Paris Photo (Paris and Los Angeles). The company also awards three prestigious international prizes: the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (since 1979), the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award and the Leica Hall of Fame Award.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.