When he was 12, Bruno Fert lost the precious photo albums his grandmother had entrusted him with and lost all the family photos ! Since then he has photographed the world and its inhabitants. Bruno studied at the National School of Fine Arts in France in the 1990s, and produced his first series by associating portraits of Dominican monks with photos of their cells. The encounter between these faces and their austere interiors led to what Bruno Fert likes to explore best: identity and its territories. A theme re-explored in his series on homeless people under the Brooklyn Bridge, fighting to keep a little parcel of intimacy: a bedside table or a piece of mirror serving as a home during the long New-York winters. An admirer of Auguste Sanders’ portraits, as well as Peter Bialobrzeski’s landscapes, Bruno Fert tries to reveal political and social issues by portraying them in an unusual manner. Housing, simple refuge or makeshift home, often appear in his work: when the first tents appeared on the streets of Paris in the winter of 2006, he chose to merge them into the nocturnal, urban landscape, evoking the people who never appear in his photographs. This series entitled « Tents in the City » won a World Press Award in 2007. « The Absentees », produced thanks to the Fund to Aid Photographic Creation from the National Centre for Fine Arts, evokes Palestinian refugees without showing them : the images of abandoned houses tell us of the exodus of this population in 1948. The series won the Roger Pic Prize in 2013, the Neuflize Award in 2016, and was exhibited for the Mois de la Photo in Paris.

Bruno Fert current project show the interior spaces of makeshift shelters where migrants live in all over Europe. These images, awarded by the Academy des Beaux Art award, portray exile and migration: they tell us about the men and women who are searching for a better future.

 

LES ABSENTS

En 1948, la création de l’état hébreu déclenche la première guerre israélo-arabe et l’exode de plus de 700 000 palestiniens vers les pays voisins. Que reste t’il aujourd’hui de leurs villes et villages vidés de leurs habitants ? C’est pour répondre à cette question que je me suis rendu en Israël: pour y retrouver et photographier les vestiges de ces localités fantômes disparues dans le tourbillon de la guerre de 48. Ce reportage est un voyage dans le temps; un périple visuel aux origines de la question des réfugiés. Ces images sont un témoignage sur un moment clef de l’histoire de la région dont les conséquences sont aujourd’hui au cœur de notre actualité.