Watching TV / Olivier Culmann
Olivier Culmann photographs people watching TV. And their TV sets. The viewers’ eyes are glued to the screen, hypnotized by the images that flicker by. Olivier Culmann captures that instant during which attention subsides and consciousness slumbers, rocked to sleep by the phosphorescence of the cathode ray tubes. At that instant, their bodies often become comfortable, they curl up on the couch and then collapse. Nothing could be more banal. And nothing more unsettling. Because that is how, in quasi-immobile passivity, when the brain has gone numb, that we television viewers receive the world in its entirety. Not the real world, but an image of that world, a ghostly version of reality. The news, comedy series, broadcasts from the other ends of the planet, or from just downstairs, are plopped down before our anaesthetized eyes. Their impact is enormous. During that time during which existence is deadened, that may last a few minutes or several hours, our ideas about others evolve and are transformed. Our preconceptions collapse and others replace them, inexorably.
Morocco, India, the United States, Mexico, Nigeria, United Kingdom, China, France : TV viewers in those countries receive news about each other without ever meeting. As they sit in front of the TV set, we get the feeling we know them.
Looking at them, Olivier Culmann is looking at us.
Cécile Cazenave
Exhibitions :
2014 – Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), Issy-les-Moulineaux / France
2013 – Festival #3, Amman / Jordan
2012 – Galerie Regard Sud, Lyon / France
2011 – Pavillon Carré de Baudoin, Paris XXe / France
2010 – Nepal art council gallery, Nepal
2010 – Festival Fotoleggendo, Rome / Italie
2010 – Artothèque de Grenoble / France
2010 – Chiroux, Centre culturel de Liège / Belgique
2010 – Alliance française de Luang Prabang / Laos
2009 – 2010 – Festival Bonjour India (Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai…) / Inde
2009 – Musée The Family of Man, Château de Clervaux / Luxembourg
2009 – Galerie des Franciscains, Saint-Nazaire / France
2007 – Espace Malraux, Chambéry / France
2006 – Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles / France
There is a video projection of this exhibition.
Book :
Editions Textuel, 2011
See the book
See more pictures

This exhibition requires 45 linear meters.

It includes 40 graphic prints framed under glass and black stained wood with hanging system:

37 prints 62.2 x 62.2 cm
21 82.2 x 82.2 cm prints
2 cases:

1 case: 108 x 92 x 108 cm.
Full weight of the body: 140 kg
1 case: 96 x 68 x 114 cm.
Full weight of the body: 140 kg
280 kg