The exhibition by Marc Pataut (born in Paris in 1952) presents a corpus of around fifteen photographic series, some of which are being exhibited for the first time. The artist’s work explores the individual’s relationship both to themselves and to society. His pictures reveal faces, bodies, affiliations and life stories. Linked to specific sites and regions, his projects grow organically over long periods and are nourished by an accumulation of personal and collective experiences.
The exhibition features a selection of his photographic essays produced between 1981 and the present day. This is not a retrospective, however. Rather, it is an artistic proposition focused on his art works and the evolution over time of their political relationships to society, space and territory. Frequently shaped by debates, exchanges and struggles, his work is a form of social and political thought. The works featured in the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue propose another relationship: that between the artworks and the public.
In the early 1970s, Pataut studied under sculptor Étienne Martin at the École Nationale Supérieure des BeauxArts de Paris (where he himself taught photography from 2001 to 2018), and his photographic practice was strongly influenced by the latter’s ideas and approach. In the 1980s, after a brief stint at the agency Viva, Pataut devoted himself to photographic essays in which the human and political dimension was of central importance. Pataut’s experimental approach is based on collaboration and shaped by the particular context he works in. His working method is inextricably linked to a particular field of activity or social situation, or to the history of a place and or to a period.