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We no longer need to introduce Gérard Rancinan, photographer and prolific creator. Above all, he is a committed photographer, a man in the field who does not use photography as a medium for purely graphic and visual creation, but more as a means of issuing and transmitting a message, an impression, a criticism.


For those unfamiliar with his career, there are a few things that need to be highlighted. After three years spent at the Sud Ouest newspaper in Bordeaux as an apprentice in the photographic department, Gérard Rancinan became, at the age of 18, the youngest photojournalist in France. Noticed by the Sygma press agency, he left to cover the news from around the world while confronting it: wars, riots, earthquakes, world cups and the Olympic Games. At the same time, as an avid and insatiable researcher, he produced portraits of the world of fashion, sport, cinema and contemporary artists. In 1986, he left Sygma to create his own agency, and then produced portraits of the greatest and most untouchable: Fidel Castro, Pope John Paul II, François Mitterrand, Roy Lichtenstein, Yasser Arafat, Bill Gates... and signed the covers of the greatest magazines of the time, Life Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine…

From now on, the work of Gérard Rancinan is recognized worldwide. It is exhibited in many international galleries and museums and is part of prestigious private collections of contemporary art. In 2008, during an auction at the Hôtel Drouot, Gérard Rancinan became one of the best-rated French contemporary art photographers. In 2012, a record sale in London of his photography "Batman Girls" confirms his rating. 2 years later, on May 18, 2014, the sale of the “Festin des Barbares” for 260,000 euros, consecrates Rancinan to the rank of the most expensive living French photographer in history. In his work, Gérard Rancinan intertwines two notions, art photography and photojournalism. Although inspired by everyday life, the reality of the surrounding world, his photographs are allegories, poetic frescoes depicting the truths of this world, those we hide from ourselves. Historian, he reinterprets the compositions of the great classical masters such as Caravaggio, Velasquez or Jérôme Bosch to model them in his image, in his interpretation, tinged with sex, drugs on a rock'n roll background, in a dystopian universe: our own society. contemporary. We met the photographer, Officer of Arts and Letters, in his studios in Ivry, a huge laboratory devoted to creation and research.


In your work, man is at the center of everything, he is the epicenter of a "whole"... Do you want to push the limits in your work?

Anyway, I don't want anything like that! I am neither an activist nor a prophet. To use Philippe Murray's phrase, "being an awake witness to the metamorphoses of our humanity" is enough for me! I accompany my contemporaries, I observe them in their jolts, their hesitations, their deviations, their illusions. I criticize them, I dissect their actions. I send their image back to them like so many lighthouses, I tell our time, I tell us!


To photograph, is it to disguise reality? In other words, how much does your camera lie?

There is no reality any more than there is a lie! There is a truth, that of the author, but in no case there is reality in the sense of "Reality"! There is a bias, a framing, a point of view, a scenario, an interpretation, a technique. There is no objectivity or chance. The photographer plays the photographer and the photographed to the photographed, photography is the simulacrum of a moment!


How do you view photography? What are the aspects that still fascinate you and those that annoy you?

Taking a photograph is a magical moment where the photographer imitates God by stopping time! That's enough to fascinate me every day and every time I take a photo. Which ones annoy me the most? Nobody and nothing, and everything at the same time! But if I think a little, maybe these photographers, or others for that matter, who want to be on a mission to save the world and who in the end are only trying to save themselves! You see, it's the tiny part of the “Moderns” (pages… to complete?) I'm talking about, it's not much, it doesn't matter much!

In your opinion, what is the responsibility of the photographer?

She is huge! Once again, the act he does by stopping time is a sacred act, let's not be afraid of words, he is almighty! The photographs are the “hard” memories of a fleeting moment, of an era, of a landscape, of a face, of a gesture. The photographer is a witness and in this his responsibility as a smuggler is immense, he can only be modest and honest in the face of that! Philippe, let's imagine that I photograph you at this very moment when we are discussing together, soon you will leave this room, you will walk in the street, meet new people, grow old, love, change, but the photograph that I would have taken of you will have frozen you in this past moment and forever! And people in a few years who will not have known you in our time will discover another!


  A neurosis?



- Find the continuation of Rancinan inNormal Magazine n°5 et n°7 -

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