The Bourse du Talent, created in 1997, has revealed many photographers who have a unique view of our society and invite us to look at it differently. The Bourse was initiated by Didier de Faÿs within Photographie.com, with the support of the Picto Foundation, which produces the prints of the winners, and partners such as the SAIF and PixTrakk. Thanks to the generosity of the photographers and the PICTO laboratory, a set of their prints will join the BnF's collections. In fifteen years of partnership, several hundred photographs have thus become part of the national heritage, attesting to the liveliness of the contemporary photographic scene. For Didier de Fays: "The winners of the 2021 edition tell of all the hope carried in the world after the health crisis. Beyond real or social borders, beyond words and fields of photography, these photographers are militant activists of the commons that bring us together."
Bourse du Talent 2021 – Lauréat Gabriel Dia
Gabriel Dia est né en 1985 au Sénégal. Franco-sénégalais, il vit et travaille à Paris depuis 2003. Ingénieur de formation, il développe d’abord son langage artistique au travers de l’écriture. Une passion qui le pousse à publier en 2014 « La rencontre », autofiction traitant de l’adolescence et des relations parents-enfants, puis en 2015 « La naissance d’une vierge » aux Éditions de Montigny. Ayant toujours été sensible aux photos, il nourrit son imaginaire des œuvres de Dominique Issermann et de Peter Lindbergh entre autres. Mais la découverte, en 2015 à la galerie Polka, des photographies de Sebastiao Salgado fut une révélation: il décide de se consacrer à la photographie qui, selon ses propres mots, « peut dire plus de choses en même temps ». Il entreprend des études photographiques à l’EFET et présente ses premières photographies en 2017 avec la série « Nature ». L’esthétique chamanique de ses photographies met en valeur divers procédés où la réflexion sur le corps domine. Pour la photographe Marie Borgia, jurée cette année de la Bourse du Talent : « De l’ombre chinoise colorée, tâtonnante, à l’élan affirmé, la chorégraphie libre du corps chez Gabriel Dia brise avec vitalité le verrou d’une volupté nouvellement conquise. La série Sabar est exposé et diffusé par la galerie arlésienne La Grande Vitrine et Fragments est exposé et diffusé par la galerie FishEye (Paris, Arles).
Talent Grant 2021 - Winner Gabriel Dia
Gabriel Dia was born in 1985 in Senegal. A French-Senegalese, he has lived and worked in Paris since 2003. An engineer by training, he first developed his artistic language through writing. This passion led him to publish "La rencontre" in 2014, an autofiction about adolescence and parent-child relationships, and "La naissance d'une vierge" in 2015, published by Éditions de Montigny. Having always been sensitive to photographs, he feeds his imagination with the works of Dominique Issermann and Peter Lindbergh among others. But the discovery of Sebastiao Salgado's photographs at the Polka gallery in 2015 was a revelation: he decided to devote himself to photography which, in his own words, "can say more things at the same time". He undertook photographic studies at EFET and presented his first photographs in 2017 with the series "Nature". The shamanic aesthetic of his photographs highlights various processes where reflection on the body dominates. For photographer Marie Borgia, this year's juror for the Bourse du Talent: "From the colourful, groping Chinese shadow to the assertive momentum, Gabriel Dia's free choreography of the body breaks with vitality the lock of a newly conquered voluptuousness. The Sabar series is exhibited and distributed by the Arles gallery La Grande Vitrine and Fragments is exhibited and distributed by the FishEye gallery (Paris, Arles).
The Fragments are an attempt to reconnect the photographer with his five senses and a call to sensuality. The photographer says: "In the Senegalese Muslim society where I grew up, the body is considered an object of impurity that must always be washed before the ritual of prayer. With this project, I hope to gradually silence these injunctions that rocked my childhood and adolescence before my exile to France at the age of 18. To learn to love my body and its attributes again. For Gabriel Dia, this fragmented body is thus recomposed by games of synesthesia, of coloured equivalences and calls for a rebirth of desire.
This series of self-portraits pays tribute to a Senegalese dance reserved for women, the Sabar. Men are traditionally forbidden to dance it and those who dare to do so are strongly criticised by the community. This was the case for Gabriel Dia at the age of six. The memory of his angry mother coming to get him in this crowd of women haunted his childhood and adolescence for a long time. This traumatic experience was certainly decisive in his radical choice of exile in France at the age of eighteen.
Twenty-six years later, like a reappropriation of his history, his identity and his culture, the photographer decided to dance again this Sabar that had been forbidden for so long, hiding behind a negative film that acted as a protective veil. A way of definitively affirming his homosexuality and questioning the question of its condemnation within Senegalese society.
Bourse du Talent 2021 - Winner Aurélie Scouarnec
Born in 1990 in Argenteuil, near Paris, Aurélie Scouarnec lives and works in Paris. A speech therapist by training and a self-taught photographer, she furthered her photographic practice with Claudine Doury during workshops. Her work explores themes linked to myths and popular beliefs, in close interaction with nature. Her formal research focuses on light, textures and sensation, and she pays close attention to gestures and the ritual dimension they may take on.
She was a finalist at the Hyères International Photography Festival in 2018, and has recently exhibited her work at the gallery l'Imagerie in Lannion (2020), and at various festivals in recent years.
For the juror Anne Degroux, a communications consultant who accompanies festivals such as "Les femmes s'exposent": "The poetic writing of Aurélie Scouarnec's series lets us perceive what connects the living. A rustle of a wing, a shivering coat, clutching hands... the subtle relationships are to be deciphered. The human being has its place, but without being the measure of all things. It is an invitation to change the paradigm, to see other living beings as the very condition of our own life.
Series "Anamnêsis" (2018-2020)
The images that tell the story of the birth of the world and of mankind are built from intertwined myths, collective symbols, legends and stories of all kinds. Aurélie Scouarnec questions this background of representations by relying on the recurrent presence of motifs such as the aquatic element and the interplay of antagonistic forces that can embody an original chaos. Very much inspired by the thought of Empedocles, one of the first pre-Socratics at the origin of Western thought, water, earth, fire and air are put in tension by the forces of attraction and separation, and the generation of bodies follows this same movement of attraction and repulsion.
This series thus returns to the night of origin, in search of what moves upstream of language and memory. It navigates among certain traces left by the first thoughts, poetic and philosophical, of the origin of the world and of men. Bodies emerge, search for themselves and rise up. In the circulation of primordial elements, this quest for a place of recognition of an ever more remote anteriority is woven.
Feræ" series 2020
Since the beginning of 2020, Aurélie Scouarnec has been regularly visiting the Faune Alfort association, which is linked to the Centre Hospitalier Vétérinaire pour la Faune Sauvage (Veterinary Hospital for Wild Animals), the first care centre in France for wild species. In this place, the will is to help all species of birds and mammals without distinction.
The gestures are repeated and become rituals, the hands feed, rehabilitate, dress and clean. In the proximity of this encounter with the wild animal, the movements seek assurance and accuracy according to the species. One learns to be attentive to the animal's slight signs of fear, the time of care is as short as possible, in order to avoid mortal stress for the animal, or on the contrary to impregnate it with too much human presence. Contact with injured bodies opens up the space for a face-to-face encounter with animal otherness, where distances are recomposed.
At a time when wild species and their habitats continue to shrink, the actions of these veterinarians, students and volunteers appear under the photographer's eye as an attempt to repair our links with the living.
Bourse du Talent 2021 - Winner Yann Datessen
Born in Saint-Étienne in 1977, Yann Datessen worked in a variety of handling jobs before devoting himself fully to photography at the age of thirty.
In 2012, the University of Paris-Sorbonne asked him to set up a photographic workshop for students. At the same time, the photographer decided to launch an online magazine dedicated to emerging photography called Cleptafire, which proposes to highlight "incandescent" photography, a subject for literary and philosophical collaborations.
In his own photographic work, which he has only recently unveiled, Yann Datessen explores the question of marginality in long-term series. In 2014, he lived for five months in the free district of Christiania in Copenhagen and took portraits in this libertarian community.
On the subject of the series around the figure of Arthur Rimbaud, exhibited here, the director and documentary filmmaker Sophie Artaud, juror of this 2021 edition, evokes: "landscape portraits that impose their depth of field and the supernatural poetry of their narrative. To the human condition of the territories that the photographer travels through, the dark or comical enigma of a destiny responds each time, that of his characters with their questioning gaze, and ours, taken as witnesses and involved in their mystery.
Between 2016 and 2020, Yann Datessen portrayed teenagers from various schools and military establishments in the Ardennes: more or less well-to-do schools in the city centres, technical or agricultural high schools on the outskirts, barracks, professional reintegration structures, with the wish to respond in images to this injunction of the poet Arthur Rimbaud, a native of Charleville-Mézières: "Try to tell my fall and my sleep". The photographer pursued the quest of this "teenager on fire" who, after his literary dazzle, decided to lead a life of wandering leading him to a tragic and solitary end in Ethiopia, by interviewing young French expatriates across Europe: why were they there, far from home? To question them, he walked along the Meuse, slept in its forests in winter, went boating on the slag heaps of Charleroi, the canals of Brussels, saw what the grey sea of Ostend looked like, the ports of Italy, the cities of Marseille and London, Cyprus, Denmark, Sweden, then went to the jungles of Java before taking up his position in Cairo and then Alexandria and Djibouti.
At the end of her journey, which took her as far as Harar in Ethiopia, Yann Datessen's fascination for the poet has not dried up: "His real masterpiece is to have chosen to use his two feet, rather than the twelve feet of an alexandrine. "He states: "My images are like Rimbaldian contradictions, contradictions on the life of others, others who are not me, these suns which I thought would prevent shadows, prevent silence, if there were to be only one thing left, it would certainly be that, that and walking, walking in the shade, because walking is not sitting, not sitting is the essential.