To develop an eye for the “normal,” for social subjects, for the “non-spectacular”, and by identifying the unique cultural codes producing an interesting viewpoint. Furthermore, this workshop will encourage each photographer to develop a relevant and unique approach, as a social observer of the everyday and the trivial. This approach will be learned and presented through a specific and consistent serial project.
Olivier Culmann was born in Paris in 1970. Photographer since 1992, he is a member of the Tendance Floue collective.
“Free will and social conditioning are core questions in Olivier Culmann’s work. During the nineteen-nineties, for his book « Les Mondes de l’école », he visited several countries to research traces of insubordinations and submissions palpable in the educational institutions.
Set at the frontier of absurd and derisory his art stands as a permanent interrogation of our lives. By confronting two distinct reports – one on the French army final draft opposite to another about industrial chicken slaughterhouses – «Une vie de poulet » openly puts forth this combination of narrative and sheer humor.
In the early 2000 his switch to medium format illustrates his will to change angle and alter distance. In the wake of September 11th events, he decides to focus on the witnesses of an aftermath with the selection « Autour, New York 2001-2002 ». The faces of the spectators around Ground Zero – were they American or simple tourists visiting the ruined site – are like mirrors of our own bewilderment.
He then began the « Watching TV» series; a collection of tv viewers met in various places in the world he dwelled, reaching a new dimension in terms of the reflexivity of his work as a photographer. A crude investigation on the state of bodies and souls drowned in echoes of a world that’s filtered by the screen. Since 2010, he’s opened himself to a new mode of surveying the individual: his fiery curiosity for clichés in the public scene led him to use his own image as a tool to explore social fantasies and the questions of self and otherness.” Cécile Cazenave, journalist
1993 to 1999 – Launches (with the photographer Mat Jacob) the project of Les Mondes de l’école, recipient of the 1997 Villa Médicis Hors Les Murs grant
2001 – Les Mondes de l’école published by Marval editions
– Une vie de poulet published by Filigranes editions
2003 – Wins Scam Roger Pic Prize for the selection Autour, New York 2001 – 2002
2004 – Intouchables published by éditions Atlantica
2004 to 2006 – Lives in Morocco, India and the USA to work on the project Watching TV
2006 – Watching TV is shown at the Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles, France
2008 – Les Mondes de l’école is presented on the Tour Eiffel in Paris
– 3rd Prize World Press for Watching TV (Category : Contemporary Issues stories)
2009 to 2011 – Lives in India to work on the project The Others
2011 – Shows Watchers at the Carré de Baudouin Pavilion in Paris, along with the release of Watching TV published by Textuel editions
Curator for India in the biennial Photoquai organised by the Museum of Quai Branly in Paris
2014 – Shows The Others and Diversions in the festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland
2015 – Shows The Others in the Museum Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, France. The Others published by Xavier Barral editions.