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Agence VU - Olivier Mirguet
Olivier Mirguet

Olivier Mirguet was born in 1972 in France. He is a photographer and a cinematographer who lives in Los Angeles since 2008. His work focuses on places that represent power and surveillance.

A series dedicated to North Korea in 2002 is the starting point of his project. It was awarded with the World Press Photo Prize in 2003.
Olivier Mirguet also completed a work in Morocco, where former opponents to the regime of King Hassan II have led him on the path of the country’s secret prisons.
In France, he explored and photographed the empty halls of Radio France, also known as "La Maison de la Radio". This circular fortress, built in Paris in 1963, relates to the concept of Panopticon imagined by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham for institutional buildings that allows to see without being seen.
SUPERVISION L.A. proceeds from that same idea. In Los Angeles, Mirguet examined surveillance : cameras, cropped paparazzi’s pictures and vision of the city trough the searchlight of police helicopters.

Represented by Agence VU since 2003


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Portfolio

Portraits

Series

L.A Supervisions, USA (2008)

In Los Angeles, Mirguet examined surveillance : cameras, cropped paparazzi’s pictures and vision of the city trough the searchlight of police helicopters.

American elections in Los Angeles (2008)

California gave 55 college votes to Barack Obama. Olivier Mirguet followed November 4th historic day in Orange County and Los Angeles. When Orange County was going for Senator McCain with 51% against 47% for Obama, Santa-Monica and Downtown LA were giving a fair lead ahead to the new American President ( 69% of the votants)

Los Angeles, Watts district (2006)

Los Angeles, far in West of United States, is a town divided. Far from swanky districts of Hollywood and Mulholand Drive, the district of Watts is a territory mined by gangs’ war. Cripps, Bloods, and many other gangs divides residence blocks. Every inhabitants know those tacit boundaries, and little of them venture in the enemy’s territory. Olivier Mirquet photographs the district, observes its inhabitants, and gives the same place to gangs members and other inhabitants.

Maison de Radio France, Paris, (Henri Bernard, 1963) (2004)

Built in 1963 in the middle of the Cold War, this building has been conceived as a fortress. This round, 10-storey high building with a central tower represents a place where information, and thus power, is conceived. Empty corridors haunted him with riddles and a reverberating echo of the paradox a radio show host faces in his search for relevant news Today the edifice doesn’t fit anymore to the new work organisation. Open spaces replace enclosed offices. Building’s interior has to be transformed within the next 10 years. I am a photographer and also a radio journalist. Since two years, between my newsflashes, I have wandered with my camera in the corridors. In front of my computer,...

Morocco, Secret prisons of Hassan II (2003)

The ghost of Hassan II is still frightening the whole country. From 1961 to 1999, the king aimed at destroying any opponent who could be a danger to his majesty. His bloody reign has marked many horror places. The names of those jails and underground torture places still echo as terrible places to maroccan people. Nowadays we haven't found out all the secrets kept in those anonymous buildings. The access is forbidden to anyone and even to the families of tortured opponents, killed and burried on the premises. Torturing centres of Dar el Mokri in Rabat and Moulay Cherif in Casablanca have become ordinary places where moroccan people don't dare looking at and hurry while walking in front of...

North Korea, another trip (2002)

Work produced in May 2002 North Korea doesn't appreciate photographers. However, the strictest regime in the world likes photographs. They are the basis for propaganda. What can be seen in this « socialist paradise” ? Nothing that a journalist looks for: starving people, political prisons and nuclear plants. These pictures do not exist; not yet. A tourist in North Korea cannot escape surveillance. He is advised to photograph everything that glorifies the regime. By going there, I accepted being a propaganda journalist. I systematically looked for the traces of power, beyond the obviousness of the revolutionary slogans and of the omnipresent portraits of Kim il Sung, constantly asking...

Books

Sarava ! : Rencontres avec la bossa-nova

Pourquoi la bossa-nova a-t-elle fait le tour du monde ? Pourquoi ce rythme et ces chansons venues du Brésil, inventés dans les années soixante, qui évoquent tout à la fois la fête, les jolies filles - celle d'Ipanema notamment, mais aussi une vraie tristesse, une indicible fêlure, distillent-ils encore aujourd'hui ce charme entêtant ? La bossa-nova vit-elle encore ? Et qui sont ceux, musiciens, poètes, chanteuses... qui l'ont créée, portée du Brésil aux Etats-Unis, en France et partout ailleurs ? De Vincius de Moraes à Baden Powell, de Pierre Barouh à Maria Creuza, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina, Nara Leao, Astrud et João Gilberto, João Donato, Carlos Lyra... Voici les portraits intimes et subjectifs de ceux qui ont fait la bossa-nova : entretiens avec les protagonistes eux-mêmes mais aussi témoignages recueillis par deux amoureux de cette musique, l'un auteur, l'autre photographe, partis, en 2005, de Rio de Janeiro à Bahia, sur ses traces. La vie, c'est l'art des rencontres.
Text by: François-Xavier Freland

Publisher: Naïve (2005)
202 pages
ISBN :2350210030   

17h16

“ Depuis deux ans, entre mes flashes d’information, je prends mon appareil et j’erre dans les couloirs. Devant mon ordinateur, grâce aux dépêches des agences de presse, je suis censé être au contact du monde. Mais autour de moi, je ne trouve que vide et énigmes. Un jour, lors de mes rondes photographiques, j’ai trouvé au sous-sol, une photocopie scotchée au mur. Un extrait de livre de Michel Foucault, " Surveiller et Punir ". Le texte parle du panoptisme, voir sans être vu. J’ai arraché la feuille du mur et j’ai décidé que Foucault serait mon guide dans la Maison de Radio France. ”
Text by: Coralie Garandeau

Publisher: Khiasma (2005)
32 pages
Size: 15 x 21 cm
ISBN :2914699182   

Awards


    2003 - World Press Photo award for North Korea project

Exhibitions



SUPERVISION L.A. (Los Angeles)
From 2013-05-03 to 2013-05-25

LACEN/Project is pleased to present SUPERVISION L.A., Olivier Mirguet's first exhibition in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a forked, enigmatic and equivocal city. Shrouded in peace, a sunny utopia. All an illusion. Violence is latent, ready to blow up anytime. But everyone shrugs it off. You may think you are protected, however the surface can suddenly crack. Gangsters and paparazzi are lurking. Even stars are invisible, and their own existence can be misleading. In this disturbing eeriness, signs of chaos are rare. Perhaps surveillance cameras are present to help us remember that...

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Los Angeles (Sète)
From 2011-06-02 to 2011-06-19

Olivier Mirguet will be showing his work « Los Angeles " at the festival "Images Singulières » in Sète.\r\rWhen night falls on Los Angeles, the glow of the city disappears. The L.A. territory becomes worrying, low-lighted outside the main avenues, and over-flown by helicopters. Taking over from the CCTV, the air police is tracking the event with its powerful spotlights. This is what Olivier Mirguet shows through these empty streets, these spaces which become possible sets for dramas, or thrillers, never really knowing where you are, in this pursuit of a city ​​that seems to come...

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SupervisionL.A. (Toulouse)
From 2009-02-04 to 2009-03-22


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Shared Urban Zones - Festival ART GRANDEUR NATURE 2008 (Les Lilas - Seine st Denis)
From 2008-09-20 to 2008-11-23

An original course among the city Les Lilas, with the artists PAUL COX, OLIVIER MIRGUET, CHRISTIAN VIALARD et ROB VOERMAN, which will be the occasion to discover works on the idee of sociability activation situations.What are the new way of living and practicing the city today ? Through aproximatively 20 artistic scenarios for the contemporary city, "Shared Urban zones" carries a glance on the today's world.

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European Night, European Photographic Identities (Arles)
From 2008-07-10 to 2008-09-14

The Rencontres d’Arles are teaming up with the European Cultural Season as part of the French presidency of the European Union, and inviting you to find out more about the Union’s 27 member states and their various photographic identities. A panorama of contemporary European photography, this event will present the work of 81 photographers from the Union’s 27 countries on giant screens in the Parc des Ateliers. This night-time exploration is free and open to all. It marks the first time the Parc des Ateliers has opened its doors to both Arles residents and Rencontres visitors. The day after,...

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