Bruno Barbey


© Bruno Barbey
© Sandrine Boyer Engel

Invited to the Planche(s) Contact Festival in 2015

In August 1966, Bruno Barbey was setting up a photo-reportage for Vogue. Fifteen images of this reportage, most of which have been forgotten, are the starting point of his coming back to Deauville, 50 years later. He comes back to the same places to carry a new perspective about Deauville, through fifteen new images of a city that is no longer the same, made by a photographer who has remained himself.

This comparative perspective is presented simultaneously to the great retrospective about Bruno Barbey in October 2015 by the MEP (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) in Paris.

When Bruno Barbey reached Deauville in 1966, the city, which still was under the spotlights, revealed new aspects of itself: some months before, the movie titled A man and a woman by Claude Lelouch was awarded with La Palme d'or at the Festival de Cannes. Bruno Barbey studied and reproduced the rituals of summer 1966. He wanders on the beach and on the Boardwalk, attends the races, and takes photos about horse owners, players and jockeys. He also captures the final match of the polo tournament, where he observes from a respectful distance the knowing conversations among Jean-Claude Brialy, Régine and Marie Bell, or those of Maurice Chevalier with Lucien Barrière. He recreated the atmosphere of La Nuit de la fourrure in a festive and elegant casino, joined his British fellows for the arrival, at the airport of Deauville, of Prince Philip d'Edimbourg, before attending yearlings’ sales.

With this same curiosity, exacerbated by a 50-year-long career of photo-reportages, Bruno Barbey came back to represent Deauville at spring and summer 2015. During Planche(s) Contact 2015, Bruno Barbey exhibited a unique project combining 50 years of photographic creation. Planche(s) Contact is pursuing its co-operation with Magnum Photos, started in the previous years, welcoming Lise Sarfati (2010) and then Harry Gruyaert (2013).

Bruno Barbey was born in Morocco. He has been studying photography at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers of Vevey, in Switzerland. From 1961 to 1964, he has been photographing Italians with the objective of capturing the spirit of a nation through the image. In the 1960s, the Editions Rencontres commissioned to him a series of books about European and African countries. During that period, he has also been regularly collaborating with the Vogue magazine. In 1964, he joined the Magnum Photos agency, becoming member in 1968. During that year, he also covered the events of May 1968 both in Paris and Tokyo. Ten years later, between 1979 and 1981, he has been photographing Poland at a specific time of its history and published his work in an internationally released book. He has been Vice-president of Magnum pour l'Europe in 1978 and 1979 and president of Magnum International from 1992 to 1995.

For 50 years, Bruno Barbey has been reporting several conflicts throughout the world. Even though he is not really a war photographer, he has covered the war in Nigeria, Vietnam, Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait.

Bruno Barbey is renowned for his particularly free and harmonic use of colour. He has been photographing Morocco, the country of his childhood, for a long time. In 1999, the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris has organized a great exhibition, hosting the photos he made over a period of thirty years. He has been awarded with several prizes for his work, including L'Ordre du mérite. His photos are exhibited anywhere in the world and make part of several museum collections, especially those of the Centre George Pompidou, the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Istanbul Modern and the Museum of Art de Seoul. His works have been published in the major international magazines such as Life, Time, National Geographic, Stern, Paris Match ou The London Sunday Times.

2015 exhibitions

Deauville 1966-2015: Une allure folle, Deauville, France.
Morocco: A Scorching Beauty, The Empty Quarter Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
China since 1973, F11 Photographic Museum, Hong Kong.
Passages. Rétrospective, Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris, France.

Simultaneously to the exhibition of Bruno Barbey at Planche(s) Contact, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris presents the exhibition titled Bruno Barbey, Passages from November 12th to January 17th, 2016.