Denis
Darzacq

Denis Darzacq

biography


French photographer, member of Agence VU’ since 1997, lives and works mainly in Paris

Graduated from the National School of Decorative Arts in 1986, he begins photography by following the French rock scene and movie sets. From 1989, he regularly collaborates with the daily newspaper Libération and more generally with the national press, before moving in the mid-1990s towards a more personal photographic work. From press photography, which was the cradle of his artistic practice, Denis Darzacq maintains a sharpened view of contemporary society and a method: that of field work in direct contact with his subject. But, convinced that planned images paradoxically serve to reflect society with greater acuity than reporting and testimony, he develops an analytical approach that leads to very coherent and formal series.

Since 2003, he has been using stagings that are all based on the principle of disruption. By their state or pose, the bodies – true common denominators of his research – upset the established order, without ever tipping the image into the spectacular. Conceived as a social sculpture, inseparable from the context with which he interacts, Denis Darzacq makes the body a marker of the norms of the “visible” in our consumerist societies and a critical tool for the difficulties or stigmatisation faced by certain groups.

By staging a priori meaningless gestures in “Hyper“, “La Chute” or “Act I and II“, he makes the body and gesture an invitation to assert an identity that is ever more complex than the socially assigned one, and to regain a form of freedom where it seems to have disappeared.

The 2010s marks a tipping point: with “Les casques de Thouars” and “Recomposition I“, the body becomes hybrid, the face disappears, the artifact takes precedence over the human; with “Recomposition II“, “Contreformes” and “Absence“, his photography becomes abstract, takes over its function as a signifier to assume the properly creative function of plastic reminiscence. His studies on human body, gesture and movement are now treated in parallel through video (“La Ronde“, video installation with the collaboration of choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang).

Regularly exhibited, and awarded by prestigious prizes (World Press Photo in 2007, Niépce Prize in 2012, etc.), his photographs have been included in numerous public and private collections, such as Musée National d’Art.

Series


Being Under 30 in Beijing, 2019

In April 2019, Denis Darzacq is doing a three-week photography residency in Beijing at Yishu 8. There, he produced the series "Turning 30 in Beijing", showing nearly 30 portraits of the young people living in this immense Chinese capital and recounting their situations and future projects.

Act 2, 2015

Act 2 is a series of photographs taken by photographer Denis Darzacq for 3ème Scène, the digital stage of the Paris Opera....

Doublemix, 2015

Double Mix is the collaboration between two French artists, the encounter between photography and ceramics, the encounter between the apparently banal universe of Denis Darzacq's photos and the strange strength of Anna Iris Lünemann's abstract ceramics.

Act, 2009-2011

Act (2009-2011) is the result of a long work that Denis Darzacq shot, in France, in Great Britain and in States, with youg people and adults who are handiccaped.

Hyper, 2008-2010

On the one hand, the stereotypical and anxious setting of the "living places" that hypermarkets have become, and on the other hand the proud power of bodies in action that refuse submission and silence.

Euromed District in Marseille, 2007

This work was commissioned by the National Fund of Contemporary Art, by the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur DRAC and by Euromed public urban planning In Marseilles.

Thouars Helmets, 2007

Denis Darzacq made the Casques series in 2007 during a residency in Thouars. He was struck by the incongruous sight of teenagers wearing oversized, vividly coloured off-road helmets, flying around the streets of this unremarkable, provincial town on their 55cc scooters...

The Fall, 2006

In 2006, Denis Darzacq asked dancers and athletes to perform jumps against background that he had found and prepared. Wearing ordinary clothes chosen in agreement with the photographer, the performers executed their leaps in these precisely defined settings.

Naked, 2003

Men and women walk naked in residential residential areas, it could be anywhere. I don't know if they arrive, cross or leave these places...

Only Heaven, 2000

Nightlife haunted with mysterious oneiric figures.

Together, 1999

Overhanging, on a neutral background, people meet in urban spaces, in anonymous cities from which any architectural reference is excluded. Only the figures structure the image, wandering, strolling, strolling, going about their business...

Being Under 30 in Beijing, 2019

In April 2019, Denis Darzacq is doing a three-week photography residency in Beijing at Yishu 8. There, he produced the series "Turning 30 in Beijing", showing nearly 30 portraits of the young people living in this immense Chinese capital and recounting their situations and future projects.

Act 2, 2015

Act 2 is a series of photographs taken by photographer Denis Darzacq for 3ème Scène, the digital stage of the Paris Opera....

Doublemix, 2015

Double Mix is the collaboration between two French artists, the encounter between photography and ceramics, the encounter between the apparently banal universe of Denis Darzacq's photos and the strange strength of Anna Iris Lünemann's abstract ceramics.

Act, 2009-2011

Act (2009-2011) is the result of a long work that Denis Darzacq shot, in France, in Great Britain and in States, with youg people and adults who are handiccaped.

Hyper, 2008-2010

On the one hand, the stereotypical and anxious setting of the "living places" that hypermarkets have become, and on the other hand the proud power of bodies in action that refuse submission and silence.

Euromed District in Marseille, 2007

This work was commissioned by the National Fund of Contemporary Art, by the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur DRAC and by Euromed public urban planning In Marseilles.

Thouars Helmets, 2007

Denis Darzacq made the Casques series in 2007 during a residency in Thouars. He was struck by the incongruous sight of teenagers wearing oversized, vividly coloured off-road helmets, flying around the streets of this unremarkable, provincial town on their 55cc scooters...

The Fall, 2006

In 2006, Denis Darzacq asked dancers and athletes to perform jumps against background that he had found and prepared. Wearing ordinary clothes chosen in agreement with the photographer, the performers executed their leaps in these precisely defined settings.

Naked, 2003

Men and women walk naked in residential residential areas, it could be anywhere. I don't know if they arrive, cross or leave these places...

Only Heaven, 2000

Nightlife haunted with mysterious oneiric figures.

Together, 1999

Overhanging, on a neutral background, people meet in urban spaces, in anonymous cities from which any architectural reference is excluded. Only the figures structure the image, wandering, strolling, strolling, going about their business...

Being Under 30 in Beijing, 2019

In April 2019, Denis Darzacq is doing a three-week photography residency in Beijing at Yishu 8. There, he produced the series "Turning 30 in Beijing", showing nearly 30 portraits of the young people living in this immense Chinese capital and recounting their situations and future projects.

Act 2, 2015

Act 2 is a series of photographs taken by photographer Denis Darzacq for 3ème Scène, the digital stage of the Paris Opera....

Doublemix, 2015

Double Mix is the collaboration between two French artists, the encounter between photography and ceramics, the encounter between the apparently banal universe of Denis Darzacq's photos and the strange strength of Anna Iris Lünemann's abstract ceramics.

Act, 2009-2011

Act (2009-2011) is the result of a long work that Denis Darzacq shot, in France, in Great Britain and in States, with youg people and adults who are handiccaped.

Hyper, 2008-2010

On the one hand, the stereotypical and anxious setting of the "living places" that hypermarkets have become, and on the other hand the proud power of bodies in action that refuse submission and silence.

Euromed District in Marseille, 2007

This work was commissioned by the National Fund of Contemporary Art, by the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur DRAC and by Euromed public urban planning In Marseilles.

Thouars Helmets, 2007

Denis Darzacq made the Casques series in 2007 during a residency in Thouars. He was struck by the incongruous sight of teenagers wearing oversized, vividly coloured off-road helmets, flying around the streets of this unremarkable, provincial town on their 55cc scooters...

The Fall, 2006

In 2006, Denis Darzacq asked dancers and athletes to perform jumps against background that he had found and prepared. Wearing ordinary clothes chosen in agreement with the photographer, the performers executed their leaps in these precisely defined settings.

Naked, 2003

Men and women walk naked in residential residential areas, it could be anywhere. I don't know if they arrive, cross or leave these places...

Only Heaven, 2000

Nightlife haunted with mysterious oneiric figures.

Together, 1999

Overhanging, on a neutral background, people meet in urban spaces, in anonymous cities from which any architectural reference is excluded. Only the figures structure the image, wandering, strolling, strolling, going about their business...

Multimedia


I’m Me, 2015

Multimedia Product | This powerful music video was filmed in various locations around the district of Bradford and challenges its audience to see people for who they are.

5 to 6 actions varying in space and time, 2015

Slide show made with the students of the First PCM of the Paul Bert High School, Maisons-Alfort (2012-2013)

As a single man, 2014

As a single man gives to hear a text written from unpublished letters from French, English and German soldiers...

I’m Me, 2015

Multimedia Product | This powerful music video was filmed in various locations around the district of Bradford and challenges its audience to see people for who they are.

5 to 6 actions varying in space and time, 2015

Slide show made with the students of the First PCM of the Paul Bert High School, Maisons-Alfort (2012-2013)

As a single man, 2014

As a single man gives to hear a text written from unpublished letters from French, English and German soldiers...

I’m Me, 2015

Multimedia Product | This powerful music video was filmed in various locations around the district of Bradford and challenges its audience to see people for who they are.

5 to 6 actions varying in space and time, 2015

Slide show made with the students of the First PCM of the Paul Bert High School, Maisons-Alfort (2012-2013)

As a single man, 2014

As a single man gives to hear a text written from unpublished letters from French, English and German soldiers...

Interviews


Interview with Denis Darzacq about his project”Act”
Mind the GAP

Interview by Mind the GAP, 2017

Denis Darzacq met the Mind the Gap team while directing a series on characters with disabilities. It is one of Europe’s leading theatrical learning companies for people with disabilities. As part of his project, he worked with the actors of this company.

Denis Darzacq presents “Act”
Jeu de Paume

Interview by le Jeu de Paume, 2016

Meeting with Denis Darzacq at Galerie VU, where he presents his latest book “Act”. After her series “Nu” (2003), “La Chute” (2005-2006) or “Hyper” (2007-2010), the artist renews her involvement as a photographer in the relationship to the subject and places the human question at the centre of her work in a different way.

Denis Darzacq – l’atelier A
Arte

2015

Denis Darzacq, who came out of documentary photography, now stages other research on the true/false. Working around the group, he strives to give additional occurrences to categorized people.

Act pour action, Act pour acteur et Act pour activisme
RFI

Interview byPascal Paradou, 2012

For his latest book Act, photographer Denis Darzacq staged a show for the disabled. Interview with the winner of the Niépce Prize 2012.

Denis Darzacq – Quelques centimètres au-dessus du bitume
VU’ à Paris

Film directed par Marie-Clotilde Chéry (© Agence VU’ & La Fémis), 2006

« VUʼ à Paris » is a collective project of a contemporary glance of VUʼ Photographers inviting to a new perception of todayʼs Paris. This vision is an opportunity to highlight the details of a modern city, unique, cosmopilite with an international dimension.
The directors of La Fémis complete these photographic points of view, and offer us an original perception of the photographer and his approach, sometimes piercing some of his mysteries.

Exhibitions


Denis Darzacq

Centre d’art contemporain de la Matmut, Saint-Pierre-de-Varengeville (FRANCE)

From January 11 to April 5, 2020

Le bel aujourd’hui

L’Orangerie des Musées de Sens, Sens (FRANCE)

From February 3 to April 30, 2018

Act & Comme un seul homme

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (FRANCE)

From April 15 to June 14, 2015

books


Denis Darzacq

Éditions Loco et le Centre d’art contemporain de la Matmut - 2020

Le bel aujourd’hui

Orangerie des musées de Sens - 2018

Comme un seul homme

Silvana Editorial - 2017

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions- 2013

Act

Filigranes Éditions- 2011

Hyper

Filigranes Éditions- 2009

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions - 2007

À quatorze kilomètres d’Auxerre

Atlantica Éditions – Collection Galaxie photo - 2005

Ensembles, 1997-2000

Actes sud & Altadis - 2001

Denis Darzacq

Éditions Loco et le Centre d’art contemporain de la Matmut - 2020

Le bel aujourd’hui

Orangerie des musées de Sens - 2018

Comme un seul homme

Silvana Editorial - 2017

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions- 2013

Act

Filigranes Éditions- 2011

Hyper

Filigranes Éditions- 2009

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions - 2007

À quatorze kilomètres d’Auxerre

Atlantica Éditions – Collection Galaxie photo - 2005

Ensembles, 1997-2000

Actes sud & Altadis - 2001

Denis Darzacq

Éditions Loco et le Centre d’art contemporain de la Matmut - 2020

Le bel aujourd’hui

Orangerie des musées de Sens - 2018

Comme un seul homme

Silvana Editorial - 2017

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions- 2013

Act

Filigranes Éditions- 2011

Hyper

Filigranes Éditions- 2009

La Chute

Filigranes Éditions - 2007

À quatorze kilomètres d’Auxerre

Atlantica Éditions – Collection Galaxie photo - 2005

Ensembles, 1997-2000

Actes sud & Altadis - 2001

Awards


Niépce Prize

For a photograph of the series: The Fall

2012

Lauréat du 1er prix « Stories » du world press photo

For his series: The fall

2007

Winner of the Altadis Prize

For his project: Ensembles

2000