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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Luciana Pampalone, Graflex, 2012 © Luciana Pampalone
Luciana Pampalone, Graflex, 2012 © Luciana Pampalone

Léa Haubourdin and Thibault Brunet’s Les Immobiles sounds like a proposition in the most generous sense of the term. First, through a desire to leave behind the overused paradigms of today, which could not exist outside of an iconography devoted to games and gambling. Second, through going out in search of the subject of the story they told themselves, and the images that emerged from their encounter.

They chose northern France for the setting of this story  knowing little about it but soon  could see come to life in the places they visited. La Côte d’Opale, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, cafés,parts and pieces of people, lottery tickets, a close-up of dregs drying at the bottom of a coffee cup on a zinc countertop. Over the course of two months, the photographers blended into their surroundings, mastering the ways of a gambling life. “Day after day, the same people, the same friends,” they explain. While they won over the hearts of men, they were also able to get closer to animals. A pigeon breeder invited them into his nursery. The duo prefered hyper-representation of the famous Equidae, the metaphoric potential of the bird. Caged outdoors or indoors, these creatures dream of the same journeys,  boundless freedom with an uncertain future.

To become better immersed, the artists set up three different cameras. First, the camera trap. Originally used by hunters and scientists, this camera responds to movement and heat. The shutter captures short sequences. There’s a wink to Muybridge and a nod to the entire chronophotographic tradition. Second, a video game console camera which, using a special software, makes fragmented three-dimensional scans, biological samples of space. The result gives the strange impression of it being a single dimension, densified and flattened, creating pieces of precut places folded back on themselves like diagrammed dreams. This offers another way to destigmatize this setting so burdened with clichés, deconstructing the assumptions of the world of gambling. Finally, a film camera produces a warm, intimate result. Contrasting blacks absorb the human form, the anonymity dreaming of speed, adrenaline and fortune.

Conceived as large diptychs and triptychs, these visual compositions seem to float. The layout is discreet and almost aerian in order leave room for juxtapositions playing on video screens along the ground. These are meant to be seen from above, inviting the spectator into a game of back-and-forth as the gaze oscillates between the vertical and the horizontal. The basement of Le BAL, where the exhibition is, has never been so spare. The installation has almost religious accents which allow one to appreciate the distance necessary one had to travel for the encounter to take place. Beyond being at the center of this project, it seems like the idea, deep down, was to defy certain standards. First and foremost, an increased awareness of the need to visually communicate, through representation and illustration, the subject at hand. Gambling, here, is an act of grace and poetry. Having more in common the “jackpot” than premeditated looting, with Léa Harbourin working in black and white, and Thibault Brunet in color, both are able to capture it without the fleeting look of hoping for a passing chance. The final phrase of the text, which has become an integral part of their project, concludes bluntly of the essence of Les immobiles (“The motionless”): “What results from this set of photographs and scanned images is a world that touched us, moved us, a world that we loved.” 

To recognize in the future winners what will, with each edition, stand out from the cliché aesthetic—that’s what has driven the Prix PMU for the past five years. For this anniversary, the PMU has invited the four past winners to exhibit their latest work. On the ground floor, Kourtney Roy bears little resemblance to the Kourtney Roy we once knew, and is exhibiting four photographs far removed from her acidic world. Olivier Cablet’s Duck was exhibited at the Festival Images in Vevey last year. Malik Nejmi has chosen to exhibit four black-and-white prints from his series La Chambre marocaine, shot as part of a workshop at the Villa Medici. Finally, Mohammed Bourouissa is presenting for the second time only an immense papier mâché horse accompanied by a dozen drawings taken from Horse Day, a film project. This retrospective reaffirms the central place of the Carte Blanche PMU on the contemporary photography scene, and whose future seems nothing but bright.

EXHIBITION
Les Immobiles
Léa Habourdin and Thibault Brunet : Carte blanche PMU 2014
14 – 25 january 2015
Le BAL
6, Impasse de la Défense
75018 Paris
France
http://www.le-bal.fr
http://carteblanchepmu.fr


BOOK

Les Immobiles
Léa Habourdin & Thibault Brunet : Carte blanche PMU 2014
PMU / Le Bal / Filigranes
Release : January 14th, 2015
French
ISBN : 978-2-35046-341-4
190 x 250mm
136 pages
74 photographs duotone & color
25€
http://www.filigranes.com/main.php?act=livres&s=fiche&id=511

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Carte blanche PMU 2015
Schedule : 
March 3rd, 2015 : Deadline 
March 12th 2015 : Winner Announcement  
March / July 2015 : Production 
August / October 2015 : preparation of exhibition and book publishing
Terms : http://carteblanchepmu.fr

See more

PHOTOGRAPHER
Léa Habourdin

Léa Habourdin a grandi dans le nord de la France et a étudié l’estampe et le dessin à l’Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Industries Graphiques ESTIENNE à Paris puis la photographie &agrav...

PHOTOGRAPHER
Thibault Brunet

Thibault Brunet was born in 1982.

Portfolio
Vernissage Carte Blanche Le BAL / PMU
par Yan Morvan

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Interview
Le BAL / PMU en vidéo
par Molly Benn / Our age is 13

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Exhibition
Le BAL: Kourtney Roy, Winner
of the Carte Blanche PMU 2013

In 2010, PMU (Paris Mutuel Urbain) established a photography grant, Carte Blanche, worth 20,000 euros. Malik Nejmi was the first recipient, followed by Mohamed Bourouissa, Olivier Cablat and, most recently, Kourtney Roy in 2013, with her series of self-portraits taken in the...

Interview
Carte blanche PMU 2014: An Interview With Léa Habourdin and Thibault Brunet

For the fifth edition of the Carte Blanche PMU, two photographers, Léa Habourdin and Thibault Brunet, decided to spend two months immersed in the world of gambling in PMU betting offices and bars in the Pas-de-Calais region of France.

Exhibition
La Carte Blanche PMU at Le BAL Celebrates Five Years

With the fifth exhibition of the Carte Blanche PMU opening at Le Bal in Paris with Léa Harboudin and Thibault Brunet’s Les immobiles (2014 edition), the PMU wanted to pay tribute to the Carte Blanche by exhibiting the photographs of past winners.

Books
Les Immobiles, Carte blanche PMU Now Available from Filigranes

The fifth edition of the Carte Blanche PMU has just been published by Filigranes. With a preface by Agnès Desarthe, realized by WhitePapierStudio, the work features a selection of photographs taken by Léa Habourdin and Thibault Brunet last summer as part o...

Interview
Call for Submissions: Carte Blanche PMU 2015, An Interview With Benoit Cornu

The call for submissions to the 2015 edition of the Carte Blanche PMU photography prize runs through March 3rd, 2015. The Carte Blanche, which supports the work of young photographers, has been co-organized with Le BAL in Paris since 2010. This year the PMU will join forces with ...

In Short
Thierry Fontaine, winner of Carte blanche PMU 2015

The jury of the Carte Blanche PMU met on March 12 and named Thierry Fontaine the winner. His work, which will be shot in the coming months, will be exhibited at the Centre Pompidou Galerie des Photographies from October 7th to October 19th, and will be published by Éd...

Awards
Anna Malagrida, winner of 2016 Carte blanche PMU

The 2016 edition of the “Carte blanche PMU” has been awarded to the Spanish photographer, originally from Barcelona, Anna Malagrida. The jury met on 20th January to choose the seventh winner from a short list of 6 artists: Grégoire Eloy, Anna Malagrida, Olivier Menanteau, Au...

Magazine
Opening of the Eye of the Galleries
Carte Blanche PMU

The new version of The Eye of Photography website includes a brand new feature: "The Eye of the Galleries ", which will provide 360° virtual exhibition visits. We are launching this new gallery today with the winners of Carte Blanche PMU contest and the chance to rediscover Thie...

In Short
Appel à candidature 2016 “Carte Blanche PMU”

Since 2010, PMU makes a commitment in favour of the contemporary photographic creation by giving carte blanche to a professional photographer to interpret the universe of the games and bets. Every year, an artist benefits from a 20 000-euro subsidy for the realization of an unpu...