Julien Bonnin

Relics represents a visual exploration of the processes of dissemination and preservation concerning archival pictures. In that regard, it focuses on the capacity of the photographic medium to generate vernacular imagery and alternative narratives, that can construct or alter Reality and therefore border with the mythical.

The work revolves around the idea of constructed realities and the practice inherent to studio photography, with background and kitsch props. Using hand-made diorama, I tend to re- enact specific memories from a photographer that had to flee from his studio and Beirut during the Lebanese War.

In this series I investigate and recreate potential narratives encompassing the imagery and mythology of War as well as the codes or stereotypes related to history and cultural appropriation in the Middle East.
These images depict the aftermath of car-bomb suicide attacks or barren landscapes, some scenes that have been widely used and disseminated in mass medias to embody the violence of conflicts in that area.

Artist biography

Born in 1983, Julien Bonnin is a French photographer living and working between Paris and Beirut. His practice is based on the clash between traditional documentary and alternative narratives ranging from video or site based installations. He investigates concepts of power and control, arising from 'signified' photographs in the midst of mass medias or digital photography, particularly regarding the construction or diffusion of propaganda messages. His recent works focus on Orientalism, nostalgia and archives, in the scope of the vernacular, mythological imagery disseminated by intimate collections of photographs held by Diasporas.