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Agence VU - Stéphane Duroy
Stéphane Duroy

French. Born in 1948 in Bizerte, Tunisa. Lives in Paris.

Initially a press photographer, Stéphane Duroy little by little moved away from the media to develop his personal projects that eventually grew into books and exhibitions.

With few resources, a subtle treatment, and without effects, he takes colour photographs and mixes them with black and white ones to explore a twentieth century Europe scarred by two atrocious wars whose memory he questions. His travel throughout Europe is marked by a voiceless and serious tonality, yet without pathos, creating a space where the exclusion of anecdotes leaves room for a form of desolation.

Following an approach that is both documentary and conceptual, his work is a disenchanted record of the twentieth century and its contemporary consequences. In 2014, this body of work gives rise to two exhibitions in Corsica : The Europe of Silence and Corsica 1762.

With two books in 2011 and 2012, he follows the traces left by the tragedys on XXth century-Europe, respectively in Great-Britain (Distress) and in Germany (Geisterbild). In 2012 his book Guardian of Time, published by Only Photography.


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Portfolio

Series

Distress, United Kingdom (2011)

"This depiction of the human condition and its interminable frustrations, from boredom to despair to resignation, is a contemporary reflection on the profound injustices that left Europe mired in tragedy for much of the 20th century. The rejection then of humanist values in a Europe blinded by fear led many to embrace abject totalitarianism. Today, we are seeing a resurgence of this human tragedy. Whether it is experienced as solitude, joblessness, social exclusion, racism and anti-Semitism, such distress constitutes a threat to society when a minority of individuals gains access to knowledge, leaving the majority in ignorance and contempt." Stéphane Duroy (December 2010)

The fall of the Berlin wall (2009)

“Having decided to photograph West Berlin in 1979, Stéphane Duroy also wanted to understand Germany, the country that gave birth to Nazism, a unique phenomenon in History, generated by such a civilized nation. In 1989, ten years later, he took pictures of the fall of the Berlin wall. This year we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of this event. Stéphane Duroy, tracing history, asks how one lives in the present with knowledge of the past, and how does one mourn an event which will not occur again? This is what photography is, the elusive desire to hold back time.” The book _Berlin_ is published by Filigranes Editions, 2009

Unknown (USA) (2007)

The intent of this project after the tragedies that shook 20th century Europe was to envisage America as a land of asylum, a receptacle of the Old World's dramas and an optimistic transformation of the brutality and misery of its wars and revolutions. In the interest of focus, Stéphane Duroy has limited his field of investigation to New York, entry point to America, and the State of Montana, where the slow migration towards the unknown reaches its completion.

Silent Europe (1999)

When I set out to photograph West Berlin in 1979, I wanted to understand how such a highly civilized people as the Germans could have created the horrors of Nazism, a phenomenon unique in history. For ten years I was fascinated by this extraordinary enclave. The construction of the wall in 1961 meant that much of the city's history became frozen in time, turning West Berlin into a vast studio set where the past seemed as real as the present. In Cold War Berlin, the 2 faces of German civilization-one extremely refined, the other monstrous, could still be seen. On November 9, 1989, the wall fell and the stage set collapsed-exactly fifty one years after the terror of Crystal Night. By...

Lodz, Poland (1996)

Second most important city of Poland, Lodz had for a long time owed its importance to the industrial economy development, textile among other. But, under the tricks of the Second World War, the city was practically totally destroyed, and the Jewish population was sent to concentration camps. Since that time, Lodz has never found again its past greatness. In the five next years, the city will lost its status of second town of Poland for Krakow. This is the story Stéphane Duroy is telling us. In the streets, empty of inhabitants, we feel that a nostalgic touch is here. Nostalgic for a city, and for a history which is loosing itself.

East Berlin (1989)

Taken between 1980 and 1990, this pictures series told two stories. The one of the end of a political system, of the fight between two blocks, and the one of the reunification of a city, of a country, and of a population. Deeply linked, those two stories are nevertheless clearly separated. This work proposes a travel between the end of an age and the beginning of a new one.

Great Britain (1987)

There are hats of course. Ascot hats and miners'helmets. There is coal, of course, and fish and chips and grey skies and public schools. Perhaps it had to be someone from the continent to be able to transmit the deep despair that has overwhelmed a country whose social and economic situation is probably one of the worst in Europe. Stéphane Duroy bears witness. But he particularly draws our attention to signs. Outward signs of riches and of tradition; those, more hidden, of bewilderment that is conveyed by faces, or by the unexepcted convergence of aristocrats after a party and of Mohican punks. Of course there are contrasts ; glances, glimpses of bricklined streets and of grey...

Books

Unknown #2

UNKNOWN #2 - THE ENDLESS REWORKING OF A BOOK.

In 2007, Stéphane Duroy published Unknown, an anthem to anonymous rebels and people in exile. A few years later, he remade the book by tearing the pages of the original edition and once the new version was completed, he repeated this method over the years to make 29 different and one-off variations of the same book.

What is to be said about this disconcerting, dizzy-making challenge? A displayed desire to be always re-writing the same story, differently? Does it call to mind the quest for a truth and its opposite, supreme chaos? Does it have to do both with the exercise of an extreme concentration and an anarchic outcome? At the beginning and end of Unknown, there is a geography, on the one hand of Europe and its centre, Germany and, on the other, North America, pivotal continent, mealting-pot of exiles and dreams, graveyard of dashed hopes and failures. And as in all geographies, there are rivalries here between centre and periphery, between new world and old, and armies of proletarians and exiles who periodically go from one to the other. At the origin of Unknown there is also the everlasting recommencement of a story, deliverance and oppression, going beyond history and oblivion. Horizon and loss.

Ezra Nahmad
Text by: Stéphane Duroy

Publisher: Filigranes Éditions (2017)
64 pages
Size: 24 x 33 cm  

Stéphane Duroy, Guardian of Time



Publisher: Only Photography (2012)
Size: 24 x 33 cm
ISBN :978-3-9812537-6-4   

Geisterbild

Une fois encore, Stéphane Duroy est allé sur les traces des tragédies qui marquèrent l'Europe du XXe siècle. Il poursuit sa démarche artistique de par cette constance sur la condition humaine, de ses frustrations interminables, entre ennui et résignation, réactualise les injustices profondes qui, tout au long du XX° siècle, ont plongé les peuples européens dans une tragédie sans fin. Ici, il fait remonter à la surface le souvenir de l'Allemagne entre 1933 et 1945.
Text by: Berthold Brecht et Robert Antelme

Publisher: Filigranes Editions (2012)
40 pages
Size: 20,5 x 30,5 cm  

Distress

Once again, Stéphane Duroy went on the trail of tragedies that marked Europe in the twentieth century. Here, it is up to the surface the memory of Britain that he shot over 20 years. This book talks about the man, from childhood, the workplace and addresses subtillis death. The perfect rigor of framing, perspective said, scientists assays often pale light, a light winter, melancholy, we refer in the face image of a Europe that we tend to want forget very quickly.
This book is printed in 800 copies
Text by: Stéphane Duroy

Publisher: Filigranes Éditions (2011)
48 pages
Size: 21,5 x 29
ISBN :2350462099   

1297

Une fois encore, Stéphane Duroy est allé sur les traces des tragédies qui marquèrent l'Europe du XXe siècle. Ici, il fait remonter à la surface le souvenir de l'exil forcé de nombreux Portugais.
Aujourd’hui, sans direction, le Portugal lutte pour préserver son identité, pour construire autour des brillantes conquêtes de son passé, autour de l'imprégnation du catholicisme, tuteur moral omniprésent dans l'âme portugaise, et autour du redoutable héritage de Fernando Pessoa, personnage emblématique à la lucidité acide et paralysante.
Ce travail photographique né d’un fort parti pris ignore les grands mouvements de cette « jeune civilisation » où information, spiritualité, environnement, culture et diplomatie riment avec consommation et profit.
En conséquence – question de survie –, l’exil s’imposa aux Portugais. Le XXe siècle fut une tragédie pour la jeunesse. La Première Guerre mondiale en décima une partie, l’émigration se chargea du reste. L’exode de sa population fut parmi les plus élevés d’Europe.

Publisher: Filigranes, Hors Collection (2009)
40 pages
Size: 21 x 26 cm  

Berlin

En décidant de photographier Berlin-Ouest en 1979, Stéphane Duroy voulait comprendre l'Allemagne, celle qui donna au nazisme, ce phénomène, unique dans l'histoire, généré par un peuple si parfaitement civilisé.
En 1989, 10 ans plus tard, il réalise des photographies sur la chute du mur à Berlin. Stéphane Duroy sur les traces de l'histoire se pose la question de comment faire vivre le passé au présent, et porter, dans le même temps, le deuil inéluctable de ce qui ne reviendra pas ?
La photographie ne parle que de cela, du désir impossible de retenir le temps.
Text by: Stéphane Duroy

Publisher: Filigranes (2009)
16 pages
Size: 21 x 30 cm  

Unknown

The intent of this project after the tragedies that shook 20th century Europe was to envisage America as a land of asylum, a receptacle of the Old World's dramas and an optimistic transformation of the brutality and misery of its wars and revolutions.
Stéphane Duroy

Publisher: Filigranes Éditions (2007)
64 pages
Size: 24,5x34 cm  

Cercle de Famille

Cercle de famille reprend les grands bouleversements du XXe siècle, ce qui ont bousculé les certitudes du XIX e. Cercle de famille parcours le XXe siècle dans une optique française (la Grande guerre, la déportation et le démantèlement industriel…).
Ce livre n’a pas la prétention de traiter ces sujets en profondeur mais plutôt de déclencher des interrogations.

Publisher: Editions Filigranes (2004)
32 pages
Size: 23x31 cm
ISBN :2914381719   

Héritages

Les photographies de Stéphane Duroy nous révèlent les textures des espaces qui encadrent l'activité humaine, des espaces constamment rénovés parce que constamment dégradés et condamnés à la dégradation, dans un processus incessant qui nous renvoie à une conscience aiguë du caractère éphémère de nos projets.
Francisco Bethencourt
Text by: Francisco Bethencourt

Publisher: Centre culturel Calouste Gulbenkian (2003)
16 pages

L'Europe du silence

Il y eu tout d'abord la période berlinoise 1979-1989. Cette ville m'intéressa comme symbole culturel (l'esprit de Weimar, le Bauhaus, l'expressionnisme) aussi bien que politique : l'humiliante défaite de 1918, la révolution spartakiste écrasée, l'arrivée au pouvoir des nazis, et surtout la décision de la Solution finale (Conférence du Wannsee 1942). Puis les temps changèrent, un mur fut érigé de 1961 à 1989 pour symboliser la guerre froide.
Après ces dix année j'étais très curieux de découvrir le visage oriental de l'Allemagne, de voir comment la république de Weimar pouvait cohabiter avec Buchenwald, de traverser cette ruralité presque inchangée depuis 1933. En 1992, après une année de photographie, le territoire polonais m'apparut, comme la RDA, très en retard dans son développement économique, technologique, urbain, rural... Ce paysage d'un autre temps facilita beaucoup la poursuite de mon travail sur la mémoire, dont je retenais Auschwitz-Birkenau comme le point essentiel.
Stéphane Duroy

Publisher: Filigranes (2001)
48 pages
Size: 23x31 cm
ISBN :2910682870   

Une saison en Lorraine

Le voyage européen de Stéphane Duroy a commencé il y a une vingtaine d’années. C’est au cours de son travail en ex R.D.A. à partir de 1990, qu’il prend conscience de la possibilité d’interprétation de l’histoire au travers d’un présent porteur des traces indélébiles des heures tragiques du XXe siècle.
Text by: Eric Perrot

Publisher: Filigranes (1999)
32 pages
Size: 23x17 cm
ISBN :2-910682-57-9   

Pologne

Catalogue de l'exposition.

Publisher: Centre Photographique d'Ile de France (1994)
12 pages

Berlin, ville ouverte

Coincidentally, Duroy happened to arrive in Berlin three days before the destruction of the Wall.
Text by: Willy Brandt

Publisher: Nathan (1990)
74 pages
ISBN :0-8212-1827-1   

Grande Bretagne

Stéphane Duroy's England is that of a photojournalist, in the most demanding meaning of the word. Photojournalism which moves us because it is the true panorama of our time, hidden from us by the glitter and pomp of the Royal weddings beloved of the glossy magazines.
Christian Caujolle
Text by: Christian Caujolle, Philippe Ganier Raymond

Publisher: Editions Temps de Pose (1987)
128 pages
ISBN :2-906063-03-7   

Berlin

Le reportage de Stéphane Duroy sur Berlin est l'aboutissement de sept années de travail.
Text by: Philippe Ganier Raymond

Publisher: Editions Temps de Pose (1986)
128 pages
ISBN :094807549X   

Awards


    2004 - Foundation Calouste-Gulbenkian Grant

    1991 - World Press Photo Award

    1990 - Léonard de Vinci Grant

    1989 - World Press Photo Award

Exhibitions



Again And Again (Paris)
From 2017-01-06 to 2017-04-08

Leica selected thirty photographs from the photographer\'s work, realized between 1979 and 2002 and exposed in the logic of the artist. Voluntarily, there is no date or place, to dive into the repetition of the European history of wounded by conflicts, in the United States, land of exile where migrants hopes fail. A simple statement. Here and there, it is always the same story. Stéphane Duroy constantly tracks this history in which we are locked up ... Cleverly, his images do not allow us to locate, date, identify the shooting locations, to translate a universal disillusionment. \"dirty\"...

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Again and Again (Paris)
From 2017-01-06 to 2017-04-09

What if Stéphane Duroy’s work was an exile? After forty years of obsessive wandering in the footsteps of old Europe as far as the United States, Stéphane Duroy today seems pushed by a wind of renewal, towards a photographic praxis taken ever further from itself. L’Europe du silence, a ground-breaking work embarked upon by the photographer in the 1980s, comes across as an attempt to set out to encounter great History. Constructed in a long-term movement, this series records the vision of man in search of his identity and the memory of an Europe shaken by two world wars and many...

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I was here (Paris)
From 2015-11-12 to 2015-11-15

During Paris Photo, Leica Camera is presenting a new exhibition at which Stéphane Duroy involved. The works, during a residency at the GwinZegal arts centre in northern Brittany, look into the hidden nooks and crannies of our history – the echoes of a world silently disappearing, the heritage of a rural society that is fading away – using them to sound out the values that govern our contemporary societies.

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The Europe of Silence / Corsica 1762 (Bastia)
From 2014-05-02 to 2014-06-29

The Mediterranean Center of Photography presents The Europe of silence and Corsica 1762, two exhibitions about the remembrance work and the European construction during the 20th century and Corsican identity, by questioning the traces of the past. The Europe of Silence Photographs showing a reflection about the post-war Germany during many years. Corsica 1962 A personnal and an experimental esthetic approach on Corsican identity. This double exhibition enlightens us about Stephane Duroy\'s photographic work and contributes to awaken our critical spirit on the world and the...

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Mois de la Photo à Paris (Paris)
From 2012-11-08 to 2012-12-08


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Berlin 1979-2009 (Paris)
From 2009-10-22 to 2009-12-22

En décidant de photographier Berlin-Ouest en 1979, Stéphane Duroy voulait comprendre l'Allemagne, celle qui donna au nazisme, ce phénomène, unique dans l'histoire, généré par un peuple si parfaitement civilisé. En 1989, 10 ans plus tard, il réalise des photographies sur la chute du mur à Berlin. (commémoration cette année des vingt ans).S. Duroy sur les traces de l'histoire se pose la question de comment faire vivre le passé au présent, et porter, dans le même temps, le deuil inéluctable de ce qui...

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Phot Month - In front of the ocean (Paris)
From 2008-11-03 to 2008-11-27


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Unknown (Paris)
From 2008-10-02 to 2008-11-22

The intent of this project after the tragedies that shook 20th century Europe was to envisage America as a land of asylum, a receptacle of the Old World's dramas and an optimistic transformation of the brutality and misery of its wars and revolutions. In the interest of focus, Stéphane Duroy has limited his field of investigation to New York, entry point to America, and the State of Montana, where the slow migration towards the unknown reaches its completion.

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