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Agence VU - François Fontaine
François Fontaine

Born in 1968, François Fontaine has a passion for travel and photography since his childhood.

His work carries us away through chromatic and timeless trips inspired by Eastern cultures. His favourite topics are poetry, dream and melancholy. His own photographic style is led by instinct and feelings. His inspiration derives from meetings, long travels and especially from literature and cinema that fascinate him since his childhood.

François Fontaine was a finalist in the 1997 Kodak Prize of photographic critic with ''The Phnom-Penh jails'', in the 2005 CCF Prize ''The Salvador christs'' and in the 2006 Leica Oskar Bernack Prize with ''Lost in China'' that was projected at the Rencontres d’Arles the same year.
His work has been exhibited in many galleries in France or abroad, for instance at the Guangdong Art Museum in Guangzhou in 2008, at the ''Maison Européenne de la Photographie'' in 2009 and at the ''Institut Lumière'' in Lyon in 2013.
In 2014, the photo-serie "Silenzio!" has been selected for different exhibitions celebrating the Leica’s centenary : "36 Photo Icons" in Wetzlar and "Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography" in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Vienna.
"Silenzio!" has been exhibited ''Paris Photo'' in the Leica's stand inside the ''Grand Palais'', and in 2015 at Paris Photo Los Angeles and in the Hollywood's Leica Gallery.


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Portfolio

Stories

American Dreams (2016)

American Dreams plunges the viewer in the history of America over the 60's. It is an immersion in the American Dream : with its glamorous icons, its Californian surfers, the conquest of space and its hippie aspirations. A dream that falls into violence and war, into the fight for civil rights and counterculture. American Dreams is a graphic and dreamlike series on a country that has always, because of the power of its mythology, been a source of fascination.

Supernature (2015)

Supernature is an imaginary safari which pays tribute to the forces of nature, its beauty and its poetry. A series in which animals roam in an environment, free of any human presence. The chromatic and dreamlike images were conceived like paintings to offer a sublime vision of an unspoilt nature.

Silenzio! (2012)

« Memory does not film, memory photographs” (Milan Kundera, Immortality) This a photographic essay on the cinema, on cinematographic images. A work in which movie stills are extracted from their initial medium and diverted from their original context. An analysis about movie stills, and the emotions and questions they raise when shown as photographs. A reflection about memory, dreams, fantasy. Styles, stories and periods interlink and blend in these images, each one echoing the others. They are the silent witnesses of fear and desire. They are timeless images that seem to surge out of the subconscious. Blurred, shaken, in movement in their very immobility, these images reflect...

The holy hour, India (2010)

“The moon and the sun are your eyes, I see you as such, the face shining with fire, Your brightness illuminates the world” (Bhagavas Gîtâ, verse 11.19) In Autumn 2010, I went to India to photograph the pilgrims of one of the oldest religions on earth: Hinduism. At dawn and at dusk, the hour when light fades into the elements, I met those believers, focusing my work on their attitudes and movements. From millenial ghâts of Varanasi and Haridwar to countless sanctuaries of southern India, I immersed myself into this complex and fascinating religion, seeking to capture the mystical fervour of those human beings and the divine breath exhaling from their temples.

Books

Rêve d'orient

François Fontaine, whose favorite themes are timeless journey, poetry and dream, develop a photographic work by being guided by his intuitions and emotions, in the manner of a writer or a filmmaker who would realize his diary images. His inspiration mainly feeds his meetings, his voyages and film and literature that fascinated him since childhood.

His work takes us into chromatic and timeless journeys inspired by Eastern cultures. His favorite themes are poetry, melancholy and dream. It develops a photographic work by being guided by his intuitions and emotions.

My first "real" photography: Mekong Delta, Vietnam, October 1991. I was 23 and I realized my first big trip to Asia in the footsteps of my naval officer father. In Vietnam, I chose as the theme Mekong Delta with the viatical an old Olympus and the novels of Marguerite Duras. Looking elsewhere and absolute, my mind was filled with large photos of Bischof, Cartier-Bresson and Riboud. On my return to Paris, discovering this, I was certain that photography would accompany me everywhere and would be the key witness in my life.
François Fontaine, atypical case of the French art scene began, academically through studies in Art History at the Sorbonne University, realizing there his doctoral thesis. This multidisciplinary artistic theory fascinates very quickly to the medium of photography and travel.
Therefore, it is more of a traveler, the image of the poet, as a pure photographer. François Fontaine's speech appears simple and tender at once, especially when addressing the journeys of his life and chance encounters

Text by: Sara Daniel

Publisher: Filigranes Editions (2015)
96 pages
Size: 17 x 24 cm  

Exhibitions



Silenzio ! Film memory (Bruxelles)
From 2015-09-15 to 2015-11-07

With Silenzio !, François Fontaine gave an a mute inventory of cinephile. These hazy photographs of iconic scenes glean into the history of cinema disseminate a sweet nostalgia, revealing only with time the intensity of their emotions. They are a tribute to the movies as much as photography, he uses the features of the still image to express his admiration of those that pass 24 times per second.

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Oriental Dream (Vendôme)
From 2015-06-19 to 2015-09-20


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Silenzio! (Paris)
From 2014-11-13 to 2014-11-16

Leica celebrates fine art photography with an exhibition of François Fontaine’s work entitled SILENZIO!. A tribute to the cinema from the 40s to today. A nostalgic and poetic voyage through the cinematic moments that have helped shape our culture. A reflection on memory, dream and fantasy. Leica Camera highlights the depth and breadth of the work produced by contemporary Leica photographers at Paris Photo. Deeply connected to its roots and to the photographers who have helped establish the legend of the brand, Leica unites past, present and future through its encounters with...

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Silenzio ! Mémoires de cinéma (Kristiansund)
From 2014-05-06 to 2014-05-10

François Fontaine\'s series \"Silenzio ! Mémoires de cinéma\" is exhibited on the occasion of the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography in Kristiansund (Norway). Fontaine’s most recent oeuvre, Silenzio ! Mémoires de cinéma, explores the world of cinema, in a chromatic collection of illusory photographs, where glamour and suspense vie for centre stage. A book Silenzio! was published by de L’Œil to mark the exhibition of this work, which exhibited at the Hotel Jules et Jim in Paris, the Photo Gallery of the Institut Lumière in Lyon and the Cinema of the Pantheon in...

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Silenzio! Mémoires de cinéma (Paris)
From 2013-09-18 to 2013-12-06

« Memory does not film, memory photographs » (Milan Kundera, Immortality) This a photographic essay on the cinema, on cinematographic images. A work in which movie stills are extracted from their initial medium and diverted from their original context. An analysis about movie stills, and the emotions and questions they raise when shown as photographs. A reflection about memory, dreams, fantasy. Styles, stories and periods interlink and blend in these images, each one echoing the others. They are the silent witnesses of fear and desire. They are timeless images that seem to surge...

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Silenzio! Mémoires de cinéma (Lyon)
From 2013-07-04 to 2013-09-01

« Memory does not film, memory photographs » (Milan Kundera, Immortality) This a photographic essay on the cinema, on cinematographic images. A work in which movie stills are extracted from their initial medium and diverted from their original context. An analysis about movie stills, and the emotions and questions they raise when shown as photographs. A reflection about memory, dreams, fantasy. Styles, stories and periods interlink and blend in these images, each one echoing the others. They are the silent witnesses of fear and desire. They are timeless images that seem to surge...

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Silenzio ! (Paris)
From 2012-11-12 to 2012-12-22

« Memory does not film, memory photographs »\r(Milan Kundera, Immortality)\r\rThis a photographic essay on the cinema, on cinematographic images.\rA work in which movie stills are extracted from their initial medium and diverted from their original context. An analysis about movie stills, and the emotions and questions they raise when shown as photographs. A reflection about memory, dreams, fantasy.\rStyles, stories and periods interlink and blend in these images, each one echoing the others. They are the silent witnesses of fear and desire.\r\rThey are timeless images that seem to...

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Japanese Whispers (Paris)
From 2012-09-20 to 2012-11-17

Travelling to Japan was a child dream. Since ever, I was observing on the walls of our home, the prints of Utamaro and Harunobu that my father, a navy officer, had got back from a trip there.\r\rLeaving for Japan in spring 2008, I found again this universe that was clearly striking a chord. All along the trip, an hazy floating accompanied me. Like the Shoji, those doors that silently slide in the wooden grooves of the temples and of traditional houses, I was in a vaporous and silent world. \r\rThe similarity between people and nature was the most striking. Furtive silhouettes seen in bars...

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Lost in China (Mandelieu-la-Napoule)
From 2011-05-14 to 2011-05-22

On the occasion of the annual film festival "Visions Social" organized by the Works Committee of EDF during the Cannes Film Festival at Chateau de la Napoule in Mandelieu.\r\r "In the summer of 2005, I left in residence at the Art Museum of Guangdong, Guangzhou. I took the Trans-Siberian to Beijing and crossed China from north to south and south east. (...) Here are the traces, perfumes, impressions of this extremely contemporary and ancient China that I wanted to return in this photographic work, far from the usual documentary. "\rFrançois Fontaine

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Skin (collective exhibition) (Atri ( Regione Abruzzo))
From 2009-06-18 to 2009-08-18

The relationship between the different meanings and expressions of the word ‘skin’ is the theme of this exhibition. From the mummies of Alessandro Albert to the Miss Italys of Gianni Berengo Gardin, from Zed Nelson’s skin worked by plastic surgery to Annette Schreyer’s suffering skin of girls, Charles Frégers’ sumo wrestlers, 18 photographers speak of colours, pathologies, old age, discrimination and beauty. Some François Fontaine photographies from "night's flowers" story will be exhibited.

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Statuary (Paris)
From 2009-04-15 to 2009-06-14

The Maison Européenne de la Photographie presents François Fontaine’s work on XXX through two series “ Salvador de Bahia’s Chrits” and “ Dreams of statues”.About the Christs, the photographer recalls “ the carnival was in full swiing in Salvador de Bahia. I decided to shelter in holy places, quiet and inspiring, that the city was offering me. It was there, the heart of churches and museums of sacred art, that I realised how much the figure of the Christ was pregnant and incontrovertible in this country that was moving me a little more each day.”Dreams of Statue is a series...

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