Olivier Culmann
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  • Born in 1970 in Paris
    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.

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    2016 – Shows The Others at Photobiennale in Moscow, Russia
    2015 – Shows The Others at the Museum Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, France
    2014 – Shows The Others and Diversions in the festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland
    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
    2009 to 2011 – Lives in India to work on the project The Others
    2008Les Mondes de l’école is presented on the Tour Eiffel in Paris
    3rd Prize World Press for Watching TV (Category : Contemporary Issues stories)
    2006Watching TV is shown at the Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles, France
    2004 to 2006 – Lives in Morocco, India and the USA to work on the project Watching TV
    2004 – Intouchables published by Editions Atlantica
    2003 – Wins Scam Roger Pic Prize for the selection Autour, New York 2001 – 2002
    2001Les Mondes de l’école published by Marval editions
    Une vie de poulet published by Filigranes editions
    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