Duration: Sept 09, 2017 – Jan 14, 2018
Opening: Fri, Sept 08, 2017, 7 pm


Photo: Students in a chain passing cobble stones for the barricades, Gay Lussac Street, Paris, France, May 10th 1968
© Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

Photo: Moulay Ismael Mausoleum, Meknes, Morocco, 1985 © Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

Photo: The Amazon River, Leticia, Amazonas, Brazil, 1966 © Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

Photo: Bosphoros Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey, 2009 © Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

Moments of a carefree childhood, the respectful gaze into foreign cultures or aspects of the humane during political conflict and war: The diversity of his topics and his insightful image vocabulary have shaped the career of Bruno Barbey (*1941) as one of the most successful photo journalists of our time. With BRUNO BARBEY »PASSAGES« the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt presents the oeuvre of the French photographer: On display are 100 photographs in black-and-white and colour, from the early 1960s until today. Additionally films by Caroline Thiénot-Barbey, the wife of the photographer are on view, giving unique insight to Barbey’s work and approach.

The exhibition presents images and photo reportages of Bruno Barbey from all over the world, starting with black-and-white images from the series “Les Italiens”, Barbey’s first photo essay (1961–1964), which enabled him to join Magnum at the age of 25. As early as 1966 with a photo assignment in Brazil Barbey used colour film, pioneering its use in photojournalism. Later his wonderfully vibrant impressions of Morocco, the home of his childhood, reveal his virtuosity in the use of colours. A focus of the exhibition are Barbey’s documentations of large world events – the Six-Day War in the Middle East, the Vietnam War, the 1960s students demonstrations, Poland during the era of Solidarność, or the Iraq war at the beginning of the 1990s.

The exhibition »PASSAGES« illustrates Bruno Barbey’s unique position in the history of recent photography, his precise methodology and poetic vision with images that keep the balance between distance, proximity and empathy for the beauty and vulnerability of existence: A “rendezvous with history”, as he once said. As well a rendezvous with life.

Barbey was born in 1941 in Marocco where he also spent his youth. He studied at the École des Arts et Métiers, Vevey/Switzerland in 1959/60 and became a member of the agency Magnum Photos at the age of 25. Barbey’s photographs have been published in international magazines and journals, including Vogue, Stern, National Geographic, Time, Life and Paris Match. His works have also been published in numerous photo books and other publications accompanied by texts of renowned authors such as Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio und Jean Genet. Bruno Barbey became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2016. He lives and works in Paris.

The Fotografie Forum Frankfurt presents BRUNO BARBEY »PASSAGES« in collaboration with Bruno Barbey and Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris. The exhibition is part of the Guest of Honour Programme ‘Frankfurt in French’ of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

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