Antoine Bruy: CENTER’s Project Launch Juror’s Award
Juror Jack Woody, Publisher, Twin Palms Publishers selected Antoine’s project for this award. “There were at least a dozen more entrants whose work held me and many smart and perfect images throughout the hundreds of portfolios. My juror selection is Antoine Bruy’s project Scrublands, his 13-year odyssey photographing families and individuals living ‘off the grid’. From those who have chosen to live just beyond the edges of our ‘civilized’, world Bruy has brought back a memorable portrait of people who do not want to be like us.”
From 2010 to 2013, I hitchhiked throughout Europe with the aim to meet men and women who made the radical choice to live away from cities, willing to abandon their lifestyle based on performance, efficiency and consumption.
Without any fixed route, driven by encounters and chance, this trip eventually became for me a similar kind of initiatory quest to those of these families. Eight of these experiments are shown here, and display various fates that I think should not only be seen at a political level, but more importantly as daily and immediate experiences.
The heterogeneity of places and situations shows us the beautiful paradox of the pursuit of a utopia through permanent empirical attempts and sometimes errors. Unstable structures, recovered materials, or multiple applications of agricultural theories allow us to see the variety of human trajectories. All of which aiming at developing strategies to gain greater energy, food, economic or social autonomy.
These are in some way spontaneous responses to the societies these men and women left behind. Therefore their land is exploited but never submitted, the time has lost his tight linearity to become a slow and deliberate pace. No more clock ticking but the ballet of days and nights, seasons and lunar cycles.
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The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic PortraitureSeptember 27th, 2020