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Arles 2012: Denis Darzacq, Méjan

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For twenty years, French photographer Denis Darzacq, a member of the VU’ agency, has constructed a body of work whose subtle and restless coherence has gone stronger and stronger with every series: Ensembles (Together); Bobigny centre ville (with Marie Desplechin, Actes Sud, 2006); Nu (Naked); La chute (The Fall); Hyper. His latest series, Act, is outstanding. Although it is in the same vein of reflection that he pursued for the last twenty years (in Ensembles, Chute, and Hyper), i.e. concerns relating to urban culture or the body in relation to city space, this series confronts a different kind of reality insofar as it is specifically about handicapped people. Actors, sportspeople, dancers – men and women that Denis Darzacq met and became friendly with in various countries, including France and England – perform, play, take up positions, and break free of conventional representations. It is as if photography had succeeded in giving new form and meaning to the compassionate injunction “look at disabilities in a new light”.

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