Search for content, post, videos

Stéphane Duroy: Unknown #2, an attempt exhausting a book.


In 2007, Filigranes published Stéphane Duroy’s book Unknown composed of photographs taken on several trips to the United States. The artist offers a melancholy journey into the American identity, fashioned by wandering and exile. In New York and Montana he produced images marked by transience. The book, which took its title from about 30 graves which had as their only epitaph the word unknown, alternates ghostly urban visions, unpopulated wide-open spaces and ill-assorted objects. Stemming from  exile, the American man, at the price of denial of his own memory, integrates a new idea of the world based on transience, abandonment and perpetual movement.

Due to a slight problem in the printing, he was left with about a hundred unsaleable copies. In 2009 he turned his back on photography and put in place a working process in which collages, press cuttings, anonymous photographs, paintings, crossing out, and tearing out fed the original work that he never stopped dismantling. This gesture of destruction and reconstruction, with the addition of successive layers of material, aimed to overtake a photographic surface that had become too poor for the artist’s taste. The 29 book-objects produced between 2009 and 2017 have become catalyst for his obsessions. This attempt at squeezing the last breath out of a book, a subtitle that inevitably evokes Georges Perec, allows Stéphane Duroy to go beyond his photography, to break is codes and explore new areas of expression. This work is always continuing.

Irène Attinger

Irène Attinger is director of the library and the bookshop at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Paris.

Séphane Duroy, Unknown #2
Publié par Filigranes | LE BAL | Anthea
Catalogue de l’exposition associée

Create an account or log in to read more and see all pictures.

Install WebApp on iPhone
Install WebApp on Android