For Human Endeavour: Psychogéographie by Antoine d’Agata (updated)

I have asked Human Endeavour why there weren’t any human being present in their ‘Degeneration‘ series. As they are based in Brighton, some would make a quick connection: Magnum Photo’s Mark Power’s disciples. I leave them explain their choices and approach in another post. Please note that ‘Degeneration’ when exhibited includes research Polaroids taken whilst shooting the project.

I related ‘Degeneration’ to one precise concept: ‘psychogeography’. This led me to dig out a much less expected Magnum photographer: Antoine d’Agata and his unfairly little-known body of work ‘Psychogéographie’. This series was produced for commission from the Euromed Marseille’s project which aims to  “reconfigure” some boroughs of the city center. The series essentially consists in digital montages where young people from these neighborhoods and future users (managers of the third sector)  appear in urban deserts.

It is worth also mentioning Denis Darzacq‘s body of work and particularly ‘Bobigny, Centre Ville‘ as a work method.

As Human Endeavour are working on the publication of book, I am putting on our collective shelves Antoine d’Agata’s as a substantial reference.

 

to purchase the book, click on the image

62 color photographs by Antoinr d’Agata / selection of texts by Antoine d’Agata and Bruno Le Dantec / Postface by Bruno Le Dantec / Publisher: Le Point du Jour / Format : 23 x 30 cm / 80 pages / Hardcover / Publication date: November 2005 / 30 €

 

In the book, sentences are first presented as anonymous before being identified as quotes from residents, officials and politicians. Some are surprisingly socially violent and often racist. Named after the first Situationist, Psychogéographie, through its multiple collages, follows the the tradition of the  political photomontage.

And because Antoine d’Agata is also little known for his sensitive and sensible writing, herewith an excerpt from MANIFESTE, Antoine d’Agata (Editions Le Point du Jour, Septembre 2005) followed by photographs taken from the book.
n.b.: IT IS GOOGLE-TRANSLATED from French

 

‘The definition of photography as authentication of a presence, is being undermined today by the wide possibilities offered by digital manipulation. My job is defined, usually by a representation of this climactic: the actual experience turns into a hallucinatory vision, calling into question the relationship, as intense as separate between photographer and subject. Identified a transgressive universe, these traits have evolved in a different horizon of thought, the more directly political, that of the contemporary city rehabilitated.
Produced as part of a public commission expected to document the changes of a large urban city, psychogeography, which is a numerical experimentation, remains committed to a presence document, as fragile as it is. It is also a political act, inspiration, without qualms, a situationist approach. Psychogeography is defined by Debord as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” Moreover the constructed nature of the relationship between environment and individuals, the images retain such reference the dispute leisure-extremist planning utility and the projection of a fictional disturbing in the present town, lived at the same time challenged. The approach emphasizes psychogeographic mirror effect between a fact and form of denunciation. The images do not reveal any truth more worthy, nor the sad beauty of the ruins.
In Marseille, the first part of psychogeography, a large processing operation is to reconfigure certain areas of downtown, known as “anarchy” of a social perspective, and town planning. In this city, until now, the economic elites were deprived inner city. On this basis, officials have decided to create from scratch a new downtown, an area that industrial restructuring has made available. The old working-class population has largely disappeared, but these places are not provided vacant. Planners have justified their action by the state they rehabilitate degraded areas, and policies and land developers have talked to reconquer and social mix. All united in a common denial of the city they say ugly, unhealthy, dangerous, overgrown and decadent, soon to blame those who suffer daily from this abandonment. Rehabilitation aims to build a new city, sealed by its economy, its architecture, its structure, the working classes and the next wave of migrants.”
Antoine d’Agata, 2005

 

© Antoine d’Agata

 

© Antoine d’Agata

 

© Antoine d’Agata

 

© Antoine d’Agata

 

click on the image to open it on new window © Antoine d’Agata

 

yasmina reggad

 

Comments
2 Responses to “For Human Endeavour: Psychogéographie by Antoine d’Agata (updated)”
  1. For non-French speaking: to purchase the book and/or to find out where (scroll down the page until the ‘representatives’ section): http://bit.ly/f3lZ7a

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