Steeve
Iuncker

Steeve Iuncker

biography


Swiss photographer, member of Agence VU’ since 2000, lives and works mainly in Geneva (Switzerland).

Trained at the Vevey School of Photography, Steeve Iuncker quickly became a press photographer in Geneva. In parallel to the reports and portraits made in the context of Swiss news, he carries out more personal projects, which question the violence intrinsic to all human and social life, as well as the way in which photography can, by approaching taboos, question the standard conventions of representation.

From a terminally ill AIDS patient to the crisis situation in Gaza; from jewellery displayed on the social stage to the hallucinating behind-the-scenes of cosmetic surgery; from the professional life of an elderly prostitute to the contemporary rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood; from the little-known or ignored daily life of death in Geneva to ordinary life in extreme cities around the world: Steeve Iuncker explores the contemporary world with a frontal gaze, fully engaged in reality, freed from all fictionalization and rid of the drama of the symbol. He “doesn’t chase icons.  He shows. In a realistic, free and salutary way. Even if it may seem provocative or shocking. He only asks us to accept to see. To be responsible and lucid” (Christian Caujolle).

Winner of numerous distinctions, he receives in 2012 the Nicolas Bouvier prize for “A jeudi, 15 heures“, a series that covers two years of meetings, face to face photographic encounters with Xavier, a young man with HIV; two years of accompaniment until death, through portraiture.  In 2013, he was awarded the Photo Prize of the National Museum of Natural History for “Villes Extrêmes“, a long-term project that sets out to document cities of superlatives, cities where climatic and/or demographic conditions are out of the ordinary, from the most populated to the most polluted, “on a planet where half of the population lives in urban areas, (…) The result is scenes of ordinary life, taken in an extraordinary environment”.

In 2016, the Musée de l’Elysée (Lausanne)  exhibits “Se Mettre au Monde“, a series in which Steeve Iuncker examines the new forms of initiation rites of contemporary adolescence, between drugs, alcohol, sexuality, sports events, rock concerts…

Series


Bringing Oneself Into The World, 2016

Series | Photographer Steeve Iuncker has spent several years researching the transitional period from childhood to adulthood, wondering about the absence of clearly identifiable « rites » in our secular society.

Ahwaz: The Most Polluted City, 2014

Series | Ahwaz is a city located in southwestern Iran, in the middle of the Khuzestan province of which it is the capital. Stretching in the Tigris plain which forms a basin, not far from the slopes of the Zagros Mountains, it has an elevation of 20 meters above sea level.

Tokyo, The Most Populated City In The World, 2013

Series | Tokyo, crushing city. Tiredness is the main feeling. Still one hour train before coming back home in the nearby prefectures. Saitama, Chiba or Kanagawa. Train stations come one after the other, all identical.

Yakutsk : Coldest City In The World, 2013

Series | Yakutsk, a remote city in Eastern Siberia along the Lena river, is the coldest city in the world. Located 1840 km away from Irkoustk and 5000 km away from Moscow, this city founded in 1632 by the Cossacks imposes upon its inhabitants an extreme way of life.

The Time of My Death, 2012

Series | This recurring confrontation with death, the loneliness of the dead, the absolute desolation of the corpse − all of these elements would be impossible to overcome without the mechanical and mindless gesture of a photographer.

The Cannes Film Festival, Kingdom of Aesthetics, 2007

Cinema? A little. Moviegoers? Not many. Cameras? Yes. Television? Very much so. Actors? Yes. Singers? Also. Models? In jacuzzies.
And? Journalists, photographers, marketing, markets, walks, interviews, photo-shoots, photo-calls, jewelers, business, cigars....

Esthetique is Beautiful, 2007

Series | (Images that may offend the sensibilities of visitors.) It is usually said that taking care of oneself is a sign of respect towards other people. Seeing the prosperity of cosmetic companies, clothing industry or plastic surgery clinics, it seems like the rich have never shown more respect towards each other.

Gaza Boom’s (Summer Rain), 2006

Series | I left to see. To feel, for myself, beyond what is presented about one of the most mediatized regions of the world, day after day, through the media, from the newspaper to the newscast, from morning to evening.

Thursday, 3:00 pm, 1996

Series | Thursday, 3:00 pm, covers two years of photographic portraits of a young man, Xavier. For two years, 95 meeting, and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at 3 p.m.

Bringing Oneself Into The World, 2016

Series | Photographer Steeve Iuncker has spent several years researching the transitional period from childhood to adulthood, wondering about the absence of clearly identifiable « rites » in our secular society.

Ahwaz: The Most Polluted City, 2014

Series | Ahwaz is a city located in southwestern Iran, in the middle of the Khuzestan province of which it is the capital. Stretching in the Tigris plain which forms a basin, not far from the slopes of the Zagros Mountains, it has an elevation of 20 meters above sea level.

Tokyo, The Most Populated City In The World, 2013

Series | Tokyo, crushing city. Tiredness is the main feeling. Still one hour train before coming back home in the nearby prefectures. Saitama, Chiba or Kanagawa. Train stations come one after the other, all identical.

Yakutsk : Coldest City In The World, 2013

Series | Yakutsk, a remote city in Eastern Siberia along the Lena river, is the coldest city in the world. Located 1840 km away from Irkoustk and 5000 km away from Moscow, this city founded in 1632 by the Cossacks imposes upon its inhabitants an extreme way of life.

The Time of My Death, 2012

Series | This recurring confrontation with death, the loneliness of the dead, the absolute desolation of the corpse − all of these elements would be impossible to overcome without the mechanical and mindless gesture of a photographer.

The Cannes Film Festival, Kingdom of Aesthetics, 2007

Cinema? A little. Moviegoers? Not many. Cameras? Yes. Television? Very much so. Actors? Yes. Singers? Also. Models? In jacuzzies.
And? Journalists, photographers, marketing, markets, walks, interviews, photo-shoots, photo-calls, jewelers, business, cigars....

Esthetique is Beautiful, 2007

Series | (Images that may offend the sensibilities of visitors.) It is usually said that taking care of oneself is a sign of respect towards other people. Seeing the prosperity of cosmetic companies, clothing industry or plastic surgery clinics, it seems like the rich have never shown more respect towards each other.

Gaza Boom’s (Summer Rain), 2006

Series | I left to see. To feel, for myself, beyond what is presented about one of the most mediatized regions of the world, day after day, through the media, from the newspaper to the newscast, from morning to evening.

Thursday, 3:00 pm, 1996

Series | Thursday, 3:00 pm, covers two years of photographic portraits of a young man, Xavier. For two years, 95 meeting, and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at 3 p.m.

Bringing Oneself Into The World, 2016

Series | Photographer Steeve Iuncker has spent several years researching the transitional period from childhood to adulthood, wondering about the absence of clearly identifiable « rites » in our secular society.

Ahwaz: The Most Polluted City, 2014

Series | Ahwaz is a city located in southwestern Iran, in the middle of the Khuzestan province of which it is the capital. Stretching in the Tigris plain which forms a basin, not far from the slopes of the Zagros Mountains, it has an elevation of 20 meters above sea level.

Tokyo, The Most Populated City In The World, 2013

Series | Tokyo, crushing city. Tiredness is the main feeling. Still one hour train before coming back home in the nearby prefectures. Saitama, Chiba or Kanagawa. Train stations come one after the other, all identical.

Yakutsk : Coldest City In The World, 2013

Series | Yakutsk, a remote city in Eastern Siberia along the Lena river, is the coldest city in the world. Located 1840 km away from Irkoustk and 5000 km away from Moscow, this city founded in 1632 by the Cossacks imposes upon its inhabitants an extreme way of life.

The Time of My Death, 2012

Series | This recurring confrontation with death, the loneliness of the dead, the absolute desolation of the corpse − all of these elements would be impossible to overcome without the mechanical and mindless gesture of a photographer.

The Cannes Film Festival, Kingdom of Aesthetics, 2007

Cinema? A little. Moviegoers? Not many. Cameras? Yes. Television? Very much so. Actors? Yes. Singers? Also. Models? In jacuzzies.
And? Journalists, photographers, marketing, markets, walks, interviews, photo-shoots, photo-calls, jewelers, business, cigars....

Esthetique is Beautiful, 2007

Series | (Images that may offend the sensibilities of visitors.) It is usually said that taking care of oneself is a sign of respect towards other people. Seeing the prosperity of cosmetic companies, clothing industry or plastic surgery clinics, it seems like the rich have never shown more respect towards each other.

Gaza Boom’s (Summer Rain), 2006

Series | I left to see. To feel, for myself, beyond what is presented about one of the most mediatized regions of the world, day after day, through the media, from the newspaper to the newscast, from morning to evening.

Thursday, 3:00 pm, 1996

Series | Thursday, 3:00 pm, covers two years of photographic portraits of a young man, Xavier. For two years, 95 meeting, and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at 3 p.m.

multimedia


See You Thursday, 3 p.m., 2012

Multimedia Product | For two years and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Alianov, Word From a Russian, 2005

Multimedia Products | Alianov is a 16 mm short film in black and white shot in fixed shots. Alianov is a man who lived on the streets of Geneva a few years ago.

See You Thursday, 3 p.m., 2012

Multimedia Product | For two years and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Alianov, Word From a Russian, 2005

Multimedia Products | Alianov is a 16 mm short film in black and white shot in fixed shots. Alianov is a man who lived on the streets of Geneva a few years ago.

See You Thursday, 3 p.m., 2012

Multimedia Product | For two years and until his death, Xavier and I met every Thursday at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Alianov, Word From a Russian, 2005

Multimedia Products | Alianov is a 16 mm short film in black and white shot in fixed shots. Alianov is a man who lived on the streets of Geneva a few years ago.

Interviews


Se mettre au monde
Musée de l’Élysée de Lausanne

2016

The photographer Steeve Iuncker has conducted several years of research on the passage from childhood to adulthood, questioning the absence of clearly identified rites in our secular societies. His images capture acts of adolescents that resemble unconscious rites. Taking risks, seeking oblivion as a form of death and rebirth, flirting with limits, transforming acts: the photographer weaves a subtle visual landscape of molting, and refers us to our own intimate rituals.

Xavier, À jeudi 15h
Giona Mottura

Interview by Giona Mottura, 2015

Steeve Iuncker is interviewed by Giona Mottura, artist, photographer and anthropologist, about his relationship with Xavier, the subject of his series “See you Thursday, 3pm”. He talks about the course of the photographic sessions with Xavier, which are the basis of an established photographic device: A session every Thursday at 3pm for two years until Xavier’s death. The importance of this work was to give Xavier the floor above all by giving him the choice of the selection of images.

Xavier, À jeudi 15h
Léman Bleu

2012

For two years, every Thursday at 3 pm, the Geneva photographer Steeve Iuncker met Xavier, a carrier of HIV. The objective: to capture the gaze of a man who is about to die. This work was completed in 1998 when Xavier died and is now the subject of a book entirely devoted to these photographic portraits. On this occasion, the Maison Tavel presents the exhibition “À jeudi, 15h” which brings together the 95 original contact sheets, corresponding to the 95 encounters, various portraits and an unpublished film.

exhibitions


Se mettre au monde

Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne (SUISSE)

From the 25th of May to the 28th of August 2016

Villes Extrêmes

Festival de L’Œil Urbain, Corbeil Essonnes (FRANCE)

From March 23 to May 17, 2015

L’instant de ma mort

MAMCO, Geneva (SWITZERLAND)

From October 17, 2012 to January 20, 2013

books


Se mettre au monde

Le Bec en l’Air éditions - 2016

À jeudi 15h

Le Bec en l’Air - 2012

Body Lifts

Labor et Fides - 2008

Se mettre au monde

Le Bec en l’Air éditions - 2016

À jeudi 15h

Le Bec en l’Air - 2012

Body Lifts

Labor et Fides - 2008

Se mettre au monde

Le Bec en l’Air éditions - 2016

À jeudi 15h

Le Bec en l’Air - 2012

Body Lifts

Labor et Fides - 2008

Awards


Photo Prize of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris
For the “Extreme Cities” serie
2013

Swiss Press Photo Prize
For his serie on Yakoust, the coldest city on earth
2014

Swiss Press Photo Award in the category “Daily life and environment
For his series “Une jeunesse en déshérence alcoolique”
2012

Louisa Harvey-Tourte Wessel Prize, Geneva
For “See you Thursday, 3pm”
1996

Berner Zeitung Prize for the best photographic work of the Swiss press
For his work « See you Thursday, 3pm »
1997

« The Selection » Prize awarded by the DAS Magazine, Zürich.
For the serie “See you Thursday, 3pm”
2000

“Nicolas Bouvier” prize awarded by the Swiss Press Club of Geneva
For his book “See you Thursday, 3 p.m.”.
2012