Body cinema: Denis Darzacq Photographer

July 8, 2009

It’s time to start with presentations of dance photography and photographers on my blog… It’s been a long time since I blogged on Christopher Doyle, photographer inspired by dance in Asia… This time, I have picked up short documentary ‘Several inches above the asphalt’ on great French photographer Denis Darzacq to see his process of working…

The name of photographer Denis Darzacq became for gallerists and curators really a must have name, cause his photos got a lot of fairly deserved attention… Dancers in shops or urban streets flying around in ordinary clothes with unusual positions of their body parts…

d_darzacq1.jpgFrom ‘La chite’ series, Denis Darzacq (c)

‘Darzacq was born in a good neighborhood in Paris in 1961, but has spent much of his photo career in poorer parts of the city, taking pictures of the people and the way life is lived there. Until La Chute, he was best known for his series called “Ensembles.” This was an almost sociological study of how people interact in public social spaces. Darzacq’s photographs of people meeting each other, talking, hanging out were all done surreptitiously from above, giving the effect of viewing a stage from a high balcony seat’. (Utata Tribal Photography)

d_darzacq2.jpgFrom Sans titre (Biarritz), Denis Darzacq (c)

Darzacq graduated at the ENSAD (French National School for Decorative Arts) in 1986 and started his  career following the French rock scene. Denis Darzacq has had numerous solo exhibitions throughout France, as well as Japan, the Netherlands and Iran. His work is held by France’s Centre Pompidou, Fond National d’Art Contemporain – FNAC, Musee Carnavalet, Cite de l’immigration, the Nicéphore Niépce Museum and other major collections.

d_darzacq3.jpgFrom Hyper series, Denis Darzacq (c)

He was the recipient of the Altadis Prize in 2000 and the World Press Photo Prize (Arts and Entertainment category) in 2007.   He has published a number of books including Hyper (2009), La Chute (2007), Bobigny centre ville (2006, co-author Marie Desplechin), Le ciel étoilé au-dessus de ma tête (2004), and Ensembles 1997/2000 (2001). He is represented by Goddard de Fiddes in Perth, Australia, Galerie VU in Paris, France and Gallery de Soto in Los Angeles. Darzacq lives and works in Paris.

d_darzacq4.jpgFrom Hyper series, Denis Darzacq (c)

‘His newest series, Hyper, is concerned with the binary between being and having.
Hyper refers to the Hypermarkets (French equivalent to our supermarkets) in which these works are shot. Darzacq was drawn to the trashy, pop nature of the Hypermarkets and the hyper coloured background they provided’.

d_darzacq5.jpgFrom ‘La chite’ series, Denis Darzacq (c)

‘Here he explores the idea of the body in levitation, using straight photography and no PhotoShop tricks. Shot in Rouen with subjects sourced from a casting call in the area, these images offer a sharp juxtaposition, as sublime, almost-spiritual bodies float within that epitome of mass production and mindless consumption’. (Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director of Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts taken from lens culture)

Video courtesy of the artist, and

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