Experience our photographers’ unique views on detention by browsing the picture gallery below. These photographers have generously shared their portfolios with us.
I’m able to photograph everything; the interior of the cells, the exercise yard, the visiting rooms, the showers, the solitary confinement cells… Day and night. No area is forbidden to me.
I took my first photographs of French prisons in 2010, for the Stéphane Mercurio’s film “À l’ombre de la République” [In the Shadow of the Republic], by Iskra Productions. I met the then General Controller of Places of Deprivation of Liberty, Jean-Marie Delarue, who appointed me as controller a few months later. From January 2011 to January 2014, I step deep into the heart of confinement in France. I visit some twenty penitentiary facilities and stay between five and ten days in each prison. I’m able to photograph everything; the interior of the cells, the exercise yard, the visiting rooms, the showers, the solitary confinement cells… Day and night. No area is forbidden to me. The Prison, an inaccessible space to the public eye, arouses the fantasy. The reality I experience there is hardly spectacular. The agony of imprisonment truly resides in the build-up and the repetition of degradating treatments, which transform the ordinary into a nightmare.
To this is added the violence that takes place in the blindspots or the court yards. It’s this intimacy of imprisonment I look for to photograph in color, face to face, directly, unfiltered. I am not looking for anecdotes. I take small steps; I absorb the geography of the place, the light, the sounds, the stories of the inmates… I seize the unspeakable, the time that stands still, the life that shortens, that fades away. I show no faces. I tell no stories. I stand by the treatment of individuals and their integrity. I stand by what spatiality, movements, postures, and body marks reveal about prison conditions today.
Through the creation of his images, Grégoire Korganow invites us to look at the flaws, shortcomings and disorder of the present day. He focuses on that which is out of shot, insignificant. The body, its scars and social transformations are given a key position in his work, which has an unstable form, deliberately permissive and inclusive. Immersion and experimentation determine the frame, which are, for him, the prerequisite of a clear picture. He prefers a photograph to have an ambiguous form rather than an obvious one, which allows the viewer to form their own opinion and choose their own way.