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Agence VU - Olivier Coulange
Olivier Coulange

Born in 1962, Olivier Coulange has been a member of Agence VU since 1992.

For years, Coulange's work has explored those considered as outsiders : the homeless, Gypsy people, and psychotic children. He developed these long-term projects from many different angles in order to address a greater complexity. Above all, his images remain a reflection of a society where superficial appearances destroy human interactions.

In 1988, he published " Princess Hannah" in the collection "Voire et Dire" by Actes Sud publishing.


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Portfolio

Series

Working Class Heroes (2014)

In this set of portraits, Olivier Coulange, who made workers pose head-on and put them in their plants through a double exposure, examines both working class and the ambivalent links that bind the subjects to their work tool. Giving the critical economical situation where fright about recession and fear of utter disparition mix up, industrial world demands violent structural changes to its human resources: relocation, intensification of the pace of work and job cuts. Although they seemed to be part of their plants thanks to their sacrifice for a productionist ideal, workers are kept in check through doubts about layoff and risk of being replaced by machines or by others,...

Extimacy (craving for visibility) (2013)

What do people who show themselves on the Internet through webcams are looking for? And what do people who look at those sites gain from it? Being visible in order to exist seems to be a goal in itself. In this series, Olivier Coulange makes an essay on the aesthetic of the images produced by webcams, a medium in itself in a new area of internet born eroticism and games. The webcam takes part in this imposition of fantasies, from the expectation to the exhibitionism, and opens a new dimension of the intimate and of a certain way of being.

Antonin (2012)

For almost 20 years, Olivier Coulange documented the daily life of Antonin and his family, and the way they cope with autism. Antonin turned 25 in 2011. Due to his condition, everyday tasks are extremely difficult for him to accomplish. Daily tasks we carry out without even thinking about are - for him - an obstacle pushing further away from the world. From early childhood, most autistic people are either placed in hospitals or specialized institutions. More and more often, however, doctors try to leave the child with his or her family. With this series, Olivier Coulange tells us: “The lives of autistic people or those mentally impaired are not, as one would say, a 'withdrawal...

The cell phone’s point of view: Tunisian revolution on the Internet (2011)

Tunisian people have succeeded to knock over the 23-year autocratic regime of Ben Ali. There has been one month of demonstrations turning into riots after the police’s repression leads to this situation. Tunisian people themselves have shot the first pictures of this revolution. Like in Iran one year before, it’s from the cell phone’s point of view that footages and pictures show the real situation of a country where media are locked or controlled. What the Tunisian youth calls “Facebook Revolution” is a kind of direct resistance where demonstrations are organised on the Internet and where abuses of power are instantaneously pointed to the world and their leaders. ...

Family, friends, holidays and other little sand grains (2009)

I'm not nostalgic about my childhood, I only have a grey and lonely memory of it. I don't have anything to do with it anymore, it belongs to the past, eventhough I'm aware it is part of who I am now. These pictures are probably based in the first place on what Roland Barthes calls "the love suffering". However they are not an attempt of remembrance of things past, but a fictional and exhilarating construction. Close to cinema, it is a personal production, made of broken lines, moments of my life. I'm not looking for my childhood, I'm building another one, I'm not replacing it, I'm writing a new episode.

Les Rottes, par exemple… (2007)

France, Vendôme The Rottes district is a small town inside the city, with its high school, its secondary school, a cultural center for Muslim people...an important associative link proves that with intelligence, men and women of this district can live together, and share rich and constructive human adventures. We are far away from those clichés about rude estates, we are in an example of life experiences.

SM (2006)

Sexual pratice between consenting adult partners who often establish master-slave relationship. Men and women, leather-clad, sometimes tied up. The sadomasochism imposes domination games between adults always willing. The photographer deliberately shows what could appear as violent for the viewer. We are invited to voyeurism, accepting or not is a personal decision.

Eros plastiques (2006)

In this series, Olivier Coulange photographs a steamy vision of naked bodies. They are in fact TV screen captures...he takes over industrially produced porno pictures. Poses look suggestive, but it’s our imagination that is at stake to put down the limit between what is shown, and what is not shown. The viewer is led to give back its eroticism to the pictures, through imagination. The result is a game of shadow and light where lines draw bodies...or something else.

Forced sterilization in Peru (2004)

The indian population has far been the most cocerned population. Most of the women are indian peasants who underwent different pains, diseases and despair... and who are poorly thought by their families. Most of those women are indian peasants living in poor areas, "insignificant people" whom fate doesnt interest anyone in the rest of the country. Between 1995 and 2000, 331 600 women have been sterilized.

Drag queen in Orléans (2001)

In Orleans, as in a lot of places, men become women once the night comes. Wanting to be the other when we come on stage goes far back the time where women have no right to play comedy. Then, on the theatre plays scripts, we could read: “dressed as girl”...drag. Marginalised since this time, this practice, in accordance with the photograph, carries seduction and repulsion. The appearance becomes a real questioning on us and on our relationship with others.

Young autists experiencing theatre, France (2001)

From the fringe of Avignon festival to the Arts et Déchirures festival in Rouen, a theatre troupe forming by young autistics and psychotics people has been performing for twenty years. Originally, cultural workshops organized by Saint-Marie hospital, in Puy en Velay, by a psychiatric and a director driven by the same conviction: those enigma-children can express their creativity as everybody else. Story in the backstage of an experience which makes spotlights the best weapon against generally accepted idea.

Palliative care unit, France (1997)

This report was realised in the palliative cares unit of the Paul Brousse hospital. Treating or curing is not the aim of this unit, it takes care of people whose the illness can’t be stopped and of whose death is near. That’s this will to consider that the end of the life is an essential moment that medicine can’t neglect. Even if doctors and nurses had always do the palliative cares, the particular taking into account of escort to death in the hospital place is a recent idea, as the medical treatment of pain.

Homeless, France (1992)

In the cold of towns more and more impersonal, people are still living and sleeping in the street. A cardboard as an only shelter, and sometime a bed in a foyer is free for the night. If any official number is told out loud about this situation, we can estimate that 700 000 people are homeless today in France. This report, even though it was realised in 1992, is still here to recall this reality.

Books

Princess Hannah

Peu de photographes ont eu le courage et la constance d'Olivier Coulange qui, depuis 1989, accompagne les SDF, les regarde se débattre et témoigne en vivant avec eux, à l'armée du Salut et dans la rue.
Text by: Jerôme Charyn

Publisher: Actes Sud (1988)
96 pages
Size: 15x20,5 cm
ISBN :2742707093   

Exhibitions



Antonin - Promenades Photographiques (Vendôme)
From 2013-06-21 to 2013-09-15

For almost 20 years, Olivier Coulange documented the daily life of Antonin and his family, and the way they cope with autism. Antonin turned 25 in 2011. Due to his condition, everyday tasks are extremely difficult for him to accomplish. Daily tasks we carry out without even thinking about are - for him - an obstacle pushing further away from the world. From early childhood, most autistic people are either placed in hospitals or specialized institutions. More and more often, however, doctors try to leave the child with his or her family. With this series, Olivier Coulange tells us:...

More information...



Antonin, a life with autism (Singapore)
From 2012-11-26 to 2012-12-16

For almost 20 years, Olivier Coulange documented the daily life of Antonin and his family, and the way they cope with autism.\r\rAntonin turned 25 in 2011. Due to his condition, everyday tasks are extremely difficult for him to accomplish. Daily tasks we carry out without even thinking about are - for him - an obstacle pushing further away from the world.\r\rFrom early childhood, most autistic people are either placed in hospitals or specialized institutions. More and more often, however, doctors try to leave the child with his or her family.\r\rWith this series, Olivier Coulange tells us:...

More information...

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