Raymond Depardon

Christian Caujolle


After Anders Petersen, Christian Caujolle unveils in this book the universe of the great Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon.

Confidently, Raymond Depardon speaks. A lot, at length, without hesitation but with an overflow of digressions.

The time marks are perfectly in place, the history is here, remembrances combines and words seem to always call other leading thoughts elsewhere, further.

From the rural childhood to Paris years, from the Dalmas agency, its gossips, everyday shots, and war reports to the founding of Gamma and his time as redactor-in-chief, then from Magnum to the cinema, and from the book – essential – to the exhibition, the sometimes taciturn Raymond proves himself voluble.

He pours his motives, desires, his attitude toward the technical side of photography, as important for his photographs as for his movies. Selection of devices, of machinery – which he has a very large number, from the Rolleiflex to the large format camera, as he chooses depending on the projects – determining a relationship to the world and a viewing angle. He also explains his relationship to writing, to the text, the way he practices and links his works.

He tells coyly, the intimate aspects of his career, his desires to take with him on assignment his loved ones, his travels, flying away from unsatisfying romantic relationships, his departures nourished by needs to avoid suffering and prove to oneself and to the other, what he is, what he can say and give.

The tensions are here – and they are achievements – between photography and film that transposes or transports one into the other and vice versa. Words that say and try to identify “pictures of Anger” that have always excited the photographer, in Africa and in Latin America or France, with farmers or landscapes that still look somewhat like the one he experienced in his youth.

Words that often interrupt to show the permanence of profound loneliness. One that always brings him, without anyone ever asking him, to the Garet farm.

Born in 1953, former student of the École Normale Supérieure de Saint Cloud, Christian Caujolle was a student and collaborator of Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu.
After a career as a critic and photo editor at Libération, he created in 1986 his photo agency, the VU agency, and in 1998, the gallery of the same name.
Artistic director of the Rencontres d’Arles in 1997, member of many international juries, he has published books on Bernard Faucon, William Klein, Anders Petersen, Isabel Muñoz, Christer Strömholm, Peter Beard, the collective Tendance Floue, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, the photographic collection of Marin Karmitz. He published with Actes Sud two text works: “Special Circumstances”.
He now teaches at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, writes, works as an independent curator for numerous exhibitions and directs the Photo Phnom Penh festival he created in 2008 in Cambodia. He regularly collaborates to the programming and animation of the Images Singulières festival in Sète since its creation.
Until 2015, he was also the artistic director of Getxophoto festival, which features photography in public space, near Bilbao, in the Basque country.