The photography of Marc Pataut (Paris, 1952) is structured around the formulation of research projects which address those political and human issues which often stand outside art institutions’ parameters. Through his photographs, the artist sets forth a link between different collective and individual practices, bringing to light the co-existence of different realities, shining a spotlight on the most disadvantaged groups as he explores the ways of opening up photographic expression and the category of the artist upon sharing the camera in some of his series.
The exhibition brings into focus the period stretching from 1981 to 2001, punctuating the 1990s, the time in which the artist documented the emergence of new social movements in France, those in close proximity to the labour demands which would result in a new concept of the political subject.
To this end, the show features different photographic series which include Hôpital du Jour, produced between 1981 and 1982 and first presented at Les écarts de la raison in 1984, constituting the first collaboration between Pataut and the public institutions involved with the most vulnerable collectives; the Laotil project (1998–1999), which compiles wanderings around the grounds of the abandoned psychiatric hospital Hôpital de Ville-Évrard, in Neuilly-sur-Marne; and the series Cornillon / Grand Stade (1994–1995), La Rue (1996–1998), Sallaumines. Du Paysage à la Parole (1999) and La table de chez Marc Ligocki (1998). Moreover, the works realised with the association Ne Pas Plier, founded with Gérard Paris-Clavel and other artists in 1991, are also present in the show, with the members of this association testing out new forms of interpreting the symbols and language used in constructing consumer society, thereby incorporating those groups excluded from dominant discourses.