Photographer Olivier Culmann received the Prix Niépce 2017. Created in 1955 by Albert Plécy and considered to be the first prize of professional photography, the Niépce Gens d’images prize aims to bring audience to undiscovered talent. Each year, this prize distinguishes a confirmed photographer, aged under 50, residing in France. It is is organized in collaboration with the French National Library (BNF) and is financed by the Picto Foundation.
Olivier Culmann is a member of the Tendance Floue collective. He was born in 1970. He works and lives in Montreuil. His numerous works broadly interrogates recurring questions of freedom and conditioning. In the 1990s, he published the series Les Mondes de l’école, which highlighted school and its social conditionning. Then comes a work at once shifted, humorous and well-thought, entitled Une vie de poulet (A Chicken Life), where Culmann mixed together two reports he made : one on the industrial poultry production and another on the last called the contingent. He then traveled to New York shortly after the September 11 attacks and produced a series entitled Around, New York 2001-2002 in which he observed tourists, curious, onlookers and Americans who came to observe ruins in Manhattan. He has since released the series The Others (in India, 2011), Watching TV (2011). He describes his work as “a language, a positioning that has evolved according to my questions about the world and the image that one gives of it to see”.