Attempted exhaustion

This piece is the result of work done in summer 2014. After choosing a sample from a score of Zus in Seine-Saint-Denis where operations were being carried out by the National Urban Renovation Agency, Fougeirol drew up a map. Represented as black dots on the same scale, these zones could be read as blind spots in the eye, where the visual nerve takes the place of the photoreceptive rods.

The contours of these zones are determined by streets or parcels. Fougeirol has given form to their exhaustive toponymic nomenclature. Juxtaposed, ordered, these names adumbrate a strange Lettriste poem with associations that are at once banal, arbitrary and singular.

Fougeirol has systematically explored these physical limits and produced images, following a strict protocol: digital camera with an uncentred “architectural” lens placed at eye-height on the tripod, so as to be as close as possible to ordinary perception, with an horizontal format, so as to be as objective as possible, free of bias. The continuous projection of this collection of documentary photographs in black-and-white, taken on the front lines between city and city, between “zone” and suburb, between what is considered sensitive and what is not, this film of a reality that is at once banal and provisional is both a document and an artwork.

The document shows the contemporary banality of public spaces, thoughtlessly laid out, unthinkingly “stuck together” and designed essentially for mechanical traffic. Marked by signs that are empty of meaning, they are unthought spaces inhospitable to any kind of city life.

This work probes the gap between the real and its representations, which hardly reflect those of the various players in urban development, foremost among them the architects.


Jean-Paul Robert

  • II
8 items to paste 56,5x80cm digital printing on poster paper total size 160x226cm / edition 5ex+2ap

    Tentative d’épuisement
    8 items to paste 56,5x80cm digital printing on poster paper total size 160x226cm / edition 5ex+2ap

  • III
Diaporama /slide show 328 photographs 27’20 variable size / edition 5ex+2ap

    Tentative d’épuisement
    Diaporama /slide show 328 photographs 27’20 variable size / edition 5ex+2ap

  • I
transfer printing 68x96cm / edition 5ex+2ap

    Tentative d’épuisement
    transfer printing 68x96cm / edition 5ex+2ap

  • Born in 1962, photographer and artist Benoît Fougeirol lives and works in and around Paris. For some years now he has been exploring the uncertain zones of the city limits, collecting images. At once topographic and poetic, his approach captures the unsuspected, silent wealth of this space where greenery meets asphalt. The results can be seen in the book Autour / Around (Éditions VMCF), 2010). Since then, he has concentrated on the so-called “sensitive” areas of the city. He has under- taken a methodical inventory of these territories whose reality exceeds or belies the simple clichés pasted over it.


    2021          Livre des Plentes, Chartreuse du Liget – solo show
    2020          Dust -The Plates of The Present, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris – group show
    2019          Botanic, La Clairière, oeuvres de la collection photographique du CNAP, Photaumnales Beauvais – group show
    2019          The Crisis of Representation as Illustrated with Plants and Flowers, LAXART Los Angeles,- group show
    2019          (Zus), Galerie Cyrille Putman, Arles – solo show
    2019          X Artists’ Books, Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing – group show focus (Zus)
    2018          The City Front, Galerie Maria Wettergren, Paris – solo show
    2018          Non Ready-Mades In The Photographer’s Archive, Galeria Asymetria, Warsaw – group show
    2018          The Very Landscape of Abandon, Galeria Asymetria, Warsaw – solo show / Jerzy Lewczynsky Archive
    2017          Paysages français, Bibliothèque Nationale de France – group show
    2017          Fureur et éclats des architectures en ruine, Punto de Fuga/Librairie Volume, Paris – duo show/Marie Sommer
    2017          The plates of the resent so far, Galerie Praz Delavallade, Paris – group show
    2016          Botanic, Deyrolle, Photo Saint-Germain, Paris – solo show
    2016          (Zus), Luma Dummy Award, short list, Rencontres d’Arles – group show
    2015          Lignes de Front, École Nationale d’Architecture, Paris La Villette – solo show
    2015          Dust, The Plates of the present, Baxter Street, New York – group show
    2014          Tentative (s) d’épuisement, Cruce Contemporaneo, Madrid – group show
    2013          Dust Photogram Project, Ivry-sur-Seine – group show
    2013          Botanic, Temple Galerie, Paris – solo show
    2012          Autour / Around, Domeau & Peres, La Garenne-Colombes – solo show
    2012          La Poésie austère du réel, Clair galerie, Saint-Paul de Vence – duo show/Klavdij Sluban
    2010          Autour / Around, Domeau & Peres, Paris – solo show
    2009          La Librairie, Galerie John Tevis, Paris – group show
    2009          Marimage, Galerie Meninos de Luz, Rio de Janeiro – group show
    2007          La Villa Arpel, Galerie de la Manufacture de Sèvres, Paris – group show
    2007          La Villa Arpel, Domeau&Peres, La Garenne-Colombes – solo show
    2004          Autour de Cyrille Putman, Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris – group show
    2002          Galerie Serge Aboukrat, Paris – group show
    2002          Galerie Nathalie Pariente, Paris – group show
    2001          Galerie Serge Aboukrat, Paris – group show
    2000          Recyclages, Mayers-Aebel &Mc Hale, Paris – solo show
    2000          Polymères, Colette, Paris – solo show
    1999          Sédiments, MAC Sallaumines – solo show
    1999          Cinquantenaire Tati, Flux Cyrille Putman, Paris – group show
    1998          Crestet Centre d’Art hors les murs – solo show
    1997          L’Arrière-Pays, CAC Château des Adhémars, Montélimar – group show


    2019          (Zus), Fedrigoni Top Award, 1er prix
    2018          (Zus), Prix du livre d’artiste MAD ADAGP


    Musée Reina Sofia, Madrid
    Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris La Défense
    Collection Lhoist, Belgique
    Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris
    New York Public Library, USA
    Fondation Michalski, Montricher Suisse
    Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie, Genève Suisse
    Caisse des Dépots et Consignations, Paris
    Musée Carnavalet, Paris
    Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris


    2017          (Zus), X Artists’ Books
    2013          Botanic, Temple Éditions
    2013          Cote 74, Éditions JP Robert
    2010          Autour / Around, Éditions VMCF
    1999          Sédiments, MAC Sallaumines


    2019          (Zus), The Eyes Magasine
    2018          The City Front, L’Atelier A, ARTE TV
    2018          (Zus), Collector Daily
    2016          (Zus), La Revue du Crieur
    2013          Autour / Around, Les Cahiers de l’École de Blois
    2007          Le Regard Ouvert, d’architecture

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