Bernard Plossu

Born in 1945 - France


Born in Vietnam, growing up inspired by the American counter-culture and the aesthetics of the New Wave, Bernard Plossu wanted, in the '50s, to become a filmmaker. He became a photographer instead, in the 1960s. From 1960 to 1965, he would go to the Cinémathèque regularly, where he saw classic films by Dreyer, Bergman, Buñuel, Eisenstein, Bresson and of course Truffaut, Godard or Jessua.

He also used to like Italian Neorealism and westerns. Cinema gave him the opportunity to learn about images. He is an unconventional photographer, whose work is difficult to categorize; his journey from the 1960s on is a solitary one, working on stories or fine art photography, as he wanted "to be in synch with the world and what is happening." For this filmmaker of the instant and photographer of movement, photography is the means to bring his thinking close to a personal knowledge of the physical world. Fortuitous encounters, rapid strategies of feeling... Bernard Plossu shows us to which extent one gets to know the world through the body and the body through the world.

In 1987 he embarked on a fifteen-year journey in the south of Spain. Getting to know this "garden of dust" was a continuation of his previous trips to the American deserts and the Sahara. The emptiness, the silence nourished with clarity and wanderings, the loneliness, the confrontation with the extreme rhythms of nature are part of an initiatory journey that he filmed and photographed like a natural symphony.

Bernard Plossu has traced has his own path and built his own photographic grammar, faithful to his first love, refusing the anecdote of the lived experience and the "totalitarianism" of inventories. Photography becomes the index of something close and open, intimate and impersonal, militating for a sensorial democracy, where man, the material, the cultural and the organic come together.

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“Porto”, exhibition catalog, Centro Portugues Fotografia, Porto (Portugal)
“O Pais da Poesia”, exhibition catalog, Centro Portugues Fotografia, Porto (Portugal)

“Porquerolles. Port-Cros, les îles”, exhibition catalog, Hyères-Culture et Images en Manœuvres Éditions, Marseille (France)

“Bernard Plossu Fotografía”, exhibition catalog, IVAM, Valencia (Spain)

“Los años almerienses con cámaras de juguete”, exhibition catalog, Madrid (Spain)

“Le souvenir de la mer”, exhibition catalog, Images en Manœuvres Éditions, Marseille (France)

“L'internat du Lycée Eiffel de Jacques Hondelatte”, exhibition catalog, Institut français d'architecture, Paris (France)
“Bernard Plossu 1963-1993”, exhibition catalog, AFAA, Paris (France)
“Nuage-Soleil”, exhibition catalog, Larval/Centre Photo Lectoure (France)
“Das Tal-La Vallée”, exhibition catalog, Fotohof/Fotoforum (Austria)

“L'oeil de Frère Jean”, exhibition catalog, Abbaye de Seuilly (France)

“Route Nationale 1”, exhibition catalog, Centre régional de la photographie Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Mission Transmanche, Douchy-Les-Mines (France)
“L'archipel de Riou, toute cette lumière”, exhibition catalog, Marval/ Conservatoire du Littoral (France)
“Urbs Tarraco”, exhibition catalog, Museo Arqueologic Tarragona (Spain)

“Paris-Londres-Paris”, exhibition catalog, Centre régional de la photographie Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Mission Transmanche, Douchy-Les-Mines (France)
“Les paysages intermédiaires”, exhibition catalog, Contrejour/Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (France)

“The African Desert”, traveling show (until 1989), Museum of Contemporary Art de Chicago, et au National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (USA)

“Plossu 1963-1985”, exhibition catalog, La Différence, Paris (France)

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