infos pratiques

Passage du Désir
85-87 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
F-75010 PARIS
Métro Château d'eau (4) ou Gare de l'Est (4,5,7)

Tél : + 33 (1) 56 41 36 04


Miranda Salt
Project Director

revue de presse
. Aperture (US)
. LE MONDE (France)
revue de presse

infos pratiques

Installation ‘TV Shots’

Texte by Quentin Bajac
Chef du Cabinet de la Photographie du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou

For several months in 1972, in London where he was living at the time, Harry Gruyaert decided to take colour photos of his untuned TV screen. A seemingly unimportant gesture, yet one highly significant in terms of its double heritage: referring on the one hand to the artistic and playful heritage of the Americain Pop Art of the preceding decade, from Nam June Paik to Andy Warhol and their double fascination for the object and the televised image. And on the other, the photography of the same period which, from Lee Friedlander to Robert Frank, considered the television as the ultimate symbol of consumer society and a certain alienation of the modern world.

However, by introducing strident colours and focusing exclusively on the television screen, Harry Gruyaert proposed a new and singular interpretation. Through his lens, the television became a hallucinatory, even hypnotic, machine, like a new Gorgon freezing the modern spectator - a sensation reinforced by the sound and projection of the new installation at the Passage du Désir.

Harry Gruyaert's gesture also suggests a questioning of the vocabulary and habits of photojournalism. By freezing instants of the ceaseless flow of images on the screen, he offers an off-beat version: that of a bedroom journalist, somewhat disconnected, who testifies - half fascinated, half horrified - of the great disorder of the world and its representations.

Sound: Louis Dandrel
Design: Olivier Koechlin

Exhibition produced as part of the Paris Photo Month official programme, 2008.

" I was living in London at the beginning of the 70s. There was a busted TV set in my flat: by fiddling with the antenna and the settings, it was possible to obtain fascinating colours.

Lets not forget that at the time, video recorders didn't exist yet, let alone a 'pause' button, or 'rewind'. I was thus 'live' in front of the news, camera in hand, getting up close to the screen to frame the images differently. Ultimately, my situation was similar to that of a street photographer for whom, in my opinion, obtaining a good picture is about mastering chance, a kind of little miracle."

------- Harry Gruyaert


Le Passage du Désir - chez BETC - 85/87 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin 75010 PARIS - Tél: + 33(0)1 56 41 36 04