Tag: France

Obituary: Jacqueline Hassink, photographer 1966-2018

Reading Time: 5 minutes “I was trained as a sculptor, and this was the first time I had used the camera,” wrote Jacqueline Hassink in the Financial Times in 2011, of her breakthrough project The Table of Power. Between 1993 and 1995 Hassink contacted forty of the largest multinational corporations in Europe, asking to photograph their boardrooms. “I wanted to find a table that symbolised modern society’s most important value: economic power,” she writes. Nineteen refused, while the remaining 21, in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy, eventually agreed. 

The book was published in 1996; it was the first time that photographs of these places had been made public, and in the spring of 2009, after the global recession, Hassink decided to revisit the boardrooms. With The Table of Power 2, she examined how boardroom design, revenue and employee numbers had changed over the intervening years.

Hassink, who has died aged just 52, was born in Enschede, the Netherlands, on 15 July 1966. She trained to be a sculptor at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and then at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art in Norway, but after graduating in 1992, presented herself mainly as a photographer, publishing nine books – including another celebrated title, Car Girls, in 2009. It was shot over five years at car shows across seven cities in three different continents, including New York, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo, Detroit, and Shanghai, focusing in on differing cultural standards on ideals of beauty on the women paid to pose with the cars.

28 November 2018

Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence

Reading Time: 5 minutes To the people of Provence, the Mistral is a local menace. It regularly ruins weddings, steals hats and scarves with ease and, at its worst, this epic wind has the strength to sweep up metal chairs and smash them into neighbouring windows. Even so, says Rachel Cobb, “I think maybe they actually like it”. “What I feel is that it’s a source of pride among the Provincials, a way of defining the region,” she adds. “They can withstand it, and they’ve learned to live with it.”

Cobb’s new book, Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence, is a record of the 20 years she spent hunting the wind. She has holidayed in the south of France for 40 summers now and, though she has been victim to the perils of the strong gales, she’s also found it inspirational – as have many other artists and writers. “I’m energised by it,” she says. “At night, when you hear it stir, you can feel the energy in the air.”

12 November 2018

Vincent Ferrané’s Visitor

Reading Time: 3 minutes Has anything improved since Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? The fact that women make up just 15.5% of the artists’ files on Wikipedia suggests not. According to L’Observatoire de l’Egalite, only 30% of the artists exhibited in galleries are women, even though more than 60% of art students in France are women.

Even so, there is some cause for optimism – as French photographer Vincent Ferrané points out. “Of the top 500 contemporary artists in 2017 [in France], only 14% of women,” he says. “But 30% of those were born after 1980.”

17 August 2018

A sporting chance in Paris’ banlieue

Reading Time: 4 minutes “There is a myth that the suburbs in the outskirts of Paris are full of violence and disruption,” says Camilo Leon-Quijano, who is completing a PhD on the relationship between photography and the experience of living in low-income banlieue. “For me, it is just another place where you live and grow. Media and even academic discourse always tries to put these places down.”

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Quijano has worked in his own country’s suburbs, the favelas, and has been studying in Paris for the last five years.  “I wanted to see how people live, and try to leave behind all these negative stereotypes,” he explains.

22 June 2018

Sociologist-turned-photographer Kevin Faingnaert shows alternative life at the ZAD

Reading Time: 4 minutes Since 2009, around 400 acres of land in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, a commune in the west of France, has been home to Europe’s largest rural protest camp. Led by a mix of environmental activists and locals, the ZAD (which roughly translates to ‘Zone To Defend’ in English) developed in opposition to the construction of an international airport that would wipe out the wildlife and villages of the area. Though these plans have stalled for several years now, the ZAD has taken root, growing into a self-sufficient community complete with its own markets, bakery, brewery, theatre space, newspaper and even a pirate radio station. Intrigued by people and the structures that bind them, sociologist-turned-photographer Kevin Faingnaert spent a month documenting the ZAD as part of his participation in World Press Photo’s most recent Joop Swart Masterclass.

23 January 2018

In Paris: Mathieu Pernot's 20-year project Les Gorgan

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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.

9 November 2017

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

Reading Time: 7 minutes “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.

25 September 2017

Winner of the 2017 Firecracker Photographic Grant revealed

Reading Time: 3 minutes “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.

1 September 2017

Opening closed doors in Vincent Ferrané's Milky Way

Reading Time: 6 minutes “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.

22 August 2017