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François-Marie Banier : Dreamers


I used to get up from the ground, from these minutes of detachment. I’ve been in the same dust, and at the end of a shift I washed my face and hands, not for hygiene, but so I’d have them back, as restitution. Under the water they became mine again. –Erri De Luca

This book presents François-Marie Banier’s portraits of Moroccan construction workers sleeping or at rest in their places of work. Caught in moments of dreaming and escape from their labor, Banier’s subjects blend into the soft grey atmosphere of his pictures and seem, if but for a moment, to have escaped the harsher facts of reality. These are candid and tender portraits which continue Banier’s practice of photographing strangers he meets in small and large cities.

In his words: “To photograph workers asleep on the very ground of their construction site was, once again, to follow the paradoxical lines of being, a solitude embodied in movie heroes who change faces, roles, centuries and sometimes genders, in each of their naps.”

Text by Erri De Luca


François-Marie Banier was born in 1947 in Paris. A novelist and playwright, Banier has also been taking photographs of public figures and anonymous people in the street since the 1970s. In 1991 the Centre Pompidou in Paris displayed his photography for the first time; exhibitions followed in Europe, Asia and America. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris presented a retrospective in 2003, exhibiting Banier’s “written” and “painted” photographs for the first time. His books published by Steidl include Perdre la tête (2006), Beckett (2009), Never stop dancing (2016) and Dreamers.


François-Marie Banier: Dreamers

Text by Erri De Luca, translation from Italian to English: Jim Hicks

Book Design: Duncan Whyte and Gerhard Steidl

64 pages, 32 images

7 x 9.5 in. / 23.7 x 33 cm

Black and white

Open-spine softcover in a sleeve

US$ 35.00 / € 30.00

ISBN 978-3-95829-507-0

Release Date USA: April



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