Bruno Barbey

Guest photographer at the Planche(s) Contact festival in 2015

Bruno Barbey
Sandrine Boyer Engel

Deauville: 1966-2015, A crazy pace

In August 1966, Bruno Barbey was reporting from Deauville for Vogue. Fifteen images from this reportage, largely forgotten, are the starting point for a return to Deauville, 50 years later. A return to the scene to take a new look at a Deauville that is no longer the same, through fifteen new images by a photographer who remains himself.

This perspective was presented simultaneously with the great Bruno Barbey retrospective, in October 2015 by the MEP (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) in Paris.

When Bruno Barbey arrived in 1966, Deauville, still in the spotlight, had a new face. A few months earlier, Claude Lelouch's film Un homme et une femme won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Bruno Barbey travels and restores the rituals of the summer of 1966. He walks the beach and the boards, attends the races, photographs the owners, the players and the jockeys. He also photographs the final of the Polo tournament, where he observes from a distance the complicit conversations of Jean-Claude Brialy, Régine and Marie Bell, or those of Maurice Chevalier with Lucien Barrière. He recreates the atmosphere of The Night of the Fur in a festive and elegant casino, and mingles with his British colleagues for the arrival of Prince Philip of Edinburgh at Deauville airport, before attending the yearling sales.

With the same curiosity, honed by 50 years of reporting, Bruno Barbey returns to capture the Deauville of spring and summer 2015. For Planche(s) Contact 2015, Bruno Barbey exhibited this singular project illustrating 50 years of photographic practice. Planche(s) Contact thus continues its cooperation with Magnum Photos, which began in previous years with the reception of Lise Sarfati (2010) and Harry Gruyaert (2013).

Bruno Barbey was born in Morocco. He studied photography at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. From 1961 to 1964, he photographed Italians with the idea of capturing the spirit of a nation and drawing a portrait of a nation through images. In the 1960s, the "Editions Rencontres" commissioned him to produce a series of books on European and African countries. At that time, he regularly collaborated with Vogue magazine. In 1964, he joined the magnum Photos agency, of which he became a member in 1968. That year, he covered the demonstrations of May 1968 in Paris, as well as in Tokyo. Ten years later, between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history and published his work in a book that was distributed worldwide. He was vice-president of Magnum for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and president of Magnum International from 1992 to 1995.

For 50 years Bruno Barbey has covered many conflicts around the world. Although not strictly speaking a "war photographer", he has covered war in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait.

Bruno Barbey is known for his particularly free and harmonious use of color. He has photographed Morocco, the country of his childhood, extensively. In 1999, the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris organized a large exhibition of his photographs, taken over a period of thirty years. He has received many awards for his work, including the "Order of Merit". His photographs are exhibited around the world and are part of many museum collections, including those of the George Pompidou Center, the National Library of Paris, the Arab World Institute, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Istanbul Modern and the Museum of Art in Seoul. His work has been published in major international magazines such as Life, Time, National Geographic, Stern, Paris Match or The London Sunday Times.

Exhibitions 2015

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. Retrospective, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France.

In parallel to Bruno Barbey's exhibition at Planche(s) Contact, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris presents the exhibition "Bruno Barbey, Passages", from November 12, 2015 to January 17, 2016.

Thierry Grillet, 2015 jury member and director of cultural action at the B.n.F. about Deauville: 1966-2015, Une allure folle

"Bruno Barbey was 25 years old in Deauville in 1966. Fifty years later, Planche(s) Contact offers him the opportunity to come back. By putting his steps as a world-renowned photographer into those of the unknown that he was then, he takes a tour of himself. The photos date both the things and the look. So all these photos are first of all the history of this look, which sees and surprises itself in the mirror, at fifty years of distance. But they also date Deauville. For this reportage questions the concordance of time. Has Deauville remained the same? Is it this essence that crosses time, unchanging with its races, its beach, its casino? Or is it a substance that alters, corrupts and renews itself? From this dialectic tourniquet, Bruno Barbey comes out giving to see a lot of permanency, and a little bit of novelty. A sign that this eye knows how to distinguish between profound changes and others.
What has changed in the city? First of all, the condition of bodies: the cult of elegance has been joined by the cult of performance - with these images of thousands of triathlon athletes. Dresses and suits versus neoprene suits. Then, the irruption of a new world: here is Asia, seductive, which walks at the races, on the boards and in the evenings ... Deauville has, in its own way, become globalized. However, beyond the documentary look, these pictures have another dimension, that of a mediation in time. Who better than a photographer, master of the moment and of duration, could thus measure the passing of time better than anyone else? Photography cannot defend itself from this. It is by nature nostalgic and does not cease, by recording the fleeting, to nourish the search for lost time


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