Past Exhibition

Alex Majoli “Scene” in Paris

A new exhibition of Alex Majoli's work spanning continents and countries opens in Paris

Alex Majoli

Alex Majoli Scene #5370. Republic of Congo. 2013. © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos

Scene, an exhibition of Magnum photographer Alex Majoli‘s work co-curated by Diane Dufour and David Campany, opens at LE BAL in Paris. 

“Europe, Asia, Brazil, Congo. For eight years, across continents and countries, Alex Majoli has photographed events and non-events.

Political demonstrations, humanitarian emergencies and quiet moments of daily life. What holds all these disparate images together, at first glance at least, is the quality of light and the sense of human theatre. A sense that we are all actors attempting, failing and resisting the playing of parts that history and circumstance demand; and a sense that we are all interconnected. Somehow.

Majoli’s photographs result from his own performance. Entering a situation, he and his assistants slowly go about setting up a camera and lights. This activity is a kind of spectacle in itself, observed by those who may eventually be photographed. Majoli begins to shoot, offering no direction to people who happen to be in their own lives before his camera. This might last twenty minutes, or even an hour or more. Sometimes the people adjust their actions in anticipation of an image to come, refining their gestures in self-consciousness. Sometimes they are too preoccupied with the intensity of their own lives to even notice. Either way, the representation of drama and the drama of representation become one.

Most of Alex Majoli’s photographs were made during daylight, and he could have easily photographed his scenes with no additional illumination. Flash was not a matter of necessity; it was a choice, an interpretive, responsive choice. Alex Majoli uses very strong flash lighting. It is instantaneous and much brighter than daylight. It illuminates what is near but plunges the surroundings into darkness, or something resembling moonlight. Spaces appear as dimly lit stages and, regardless of the ambient light that exists, everything seems to be happening at the sunless end of the day.” – David Campany, curator.

More information here.

A book co-edited by LE BAL and MACK, “Alex Majoli: Scene,” is published on occasion of the exhibition.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Ravenna Art Museum and Magnum Photos with the support of the Istituto italiano di cultura. With the kind support of the Howard Greenberg Gallery.

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