PORTRAITS DE VILLES

PHILIPPE CHANCEL

Over the past twenty years, Philippe Chancel’s photography has explored the complex, shifting and fertile territory where art, documentary and journalism meet. His work
is a constantly evolving project, focusing on the status of images when they are confronted with what constitutes “images” in the contemporary world.

Born in 1959, Philippe Chancel now works and lives in Paris. He is introduced to photography at a very young age, takes an economics degree at the University of Paris (Nanterre) followed by a post-graduate diploma in journalism at the CFPJ (Paris).

Philippe Chancel’s work has been widely exhibited and published in France and abroad in a number of prestigious publications. These include Regards d’artistes – portraits
of contemporary artists –, Souvenirs – a series of portraits of great capital cities (Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Brussels) glimpsed through shop windows – produced
in collaboration with Valérie Weill, and, lastly, his North Korean project, which brought him international recognition.
DPRK, in which Chancel offers a revealing and original vision of North Korea, was first shown in 2006 at the Rencontres d’Arles, then at the C/O Berlin. It was also exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, as part of the Deutsche Borse photography prize exhibition, where it won the visitors’ poll. DPRK also appeared
in book form, published by Thames and Hudson. His Emirates project was initially presented at the 53rd Venice Biennale in the Abu Dhabi pavilion, curated by Catherine David, and was part of the Dreamlands exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in May 2010 followed by many others all over the world. Desert spirit published by Xavier Barral and Dubai published by Be-poles already present parts of this project in book form. Emirates Workers, published by Bernard Chauveau, is his 14th and latest photo essay book.

Philippe Chancel is currently working on a new long-term project entitled Datazone that aims to explore the many-faceted aftermaths within the documentary field, revealing some of the world’s most singular lands which are overexposed in the news or, conversely, hardly ever picked up by the media radar. This visionary quest has already taken him from Port-au-Prince to Kabul via Fukushima, Niger's delta, Pyongyang or Astana. His work is included in many permanent public collections
as well as private collections and he stills produces commission works for major cultural institutions in France and abroad.