Since the late 1990’s, Gilles Saussier has built a multifaceted body of work around a chosen number of documentary projects and a corpus of images (Studio Shakhari bazar, Le tableau de chasse, Empire 565, Southgate & Saussier) which he continually re-examines, intertwines and reconstructs in order to enrich their interpretation and relevance.
He took part in Documenta 11 in Kassel (2002), the exhibition Covering the real at the Kunstmuseum Basel (2005), and the exhibition Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia (2008) at the MACBA in Barcelona. His main publications include Studio Shakhari bazar (Le Point du Jour Editeur, Paris 2006), Situations du reportage, actualité d’une alternative documentaire (Communications, n°71, Paris 2001), and Le Tableau de chasse (Le Point du Jour Editeur, Paris 2010).
Gilles Saussier’s projects intersect the genres of documentary photography, conceptual art and visual anthropology. He approaches photography as a performative act and not simply as an image or a piece of information.
1988: First photographs of the Île de Chatou
1989: Joins the Gamma agency at the age of 24. Covers the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Receives awards from World Press Photo, Picture Of the Year (POY), and the festival d’Angers (Prize for young photojournalist) for his images of the Romanian revolution.
1991: Covers the Gulf War. First trip to Bangladesh after the cyclone in May 1991.
1994: Leaves the Gamma agency. Moves to Bangladesh for 18 months. Initiates a project on cultural cooperation with Bangladeshi photographers which receives an award from the Fondation de France (Salavin-Fournier Prize).
1995/96: First photographs in Shakhari Bazar and the old town of Dhaka. Works on the project Living in the fringe
1997: Returns to France. Continues his studies in visual anthropology at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS - Paris). Residency in Calcutta within the framework of a Villa Médicis Hors-les murs.
1998/2000: Participates in Jean-François Chevrier and Marc Pataut’s workshop “Territories” at the École des Beaux-arts de Paris. Publishes Situations du reportage, actualité d’une alternative documentaire in the magazine Communications (EHESS).
2001: Exhibits for the first time in a contemporary art show Territories (ENSBA Paris).
2002: Chosen by Carlos Basualdo (current Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) to participate in Documenta 11 with the project Homecoming. Settles with his family in Les Andelys (Normandy) into a countryhouse surrounded by garden which has been progressively designed with the photographer and garden designer Frédéric Delesalle.
2003: First solo exhibition at the Galerie Zürcher (Paris). Begins the project Tableau de chasse.
2005: Takes part in the exhibition Covering the Real, Arts and the Press Picture from Warhol to Tillmans, Kunstmuseum Basel.
2006: Publishes Studio Shakhari Bazar with Le Point du Jour Publishers. Third solo exhibition at the Galerie Zürcher.
2007: Participates in Barcelona Survey, initiated by Jorge Ribalta (MACBA), and the exhibition Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia with Allan Sekula, Hans Peter-Feldman and David Goldblatt.
2008: Death of his father. In reaction to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, he runs for municipal office in Les Andelys. Elected Deputy Mayor of Environment.
2009: Succeeds in publishing a second book Le tableau de chasse with Le Point du Jour Publishers even though most of his time for the previous two years is taken up by his father’s estate, his political office and his teaching activity at the Ecole d’Architecture de Normandie (ENSAN) .
2010-11: Resigns as Deputy Mayor in mid-office. Becomes a full-time artist again and resumes his artistic projects. Receives a grant from Cultures France for a project on Brancusi’s monumental ensemble of sculptures at Tirgu Jiu in Romania.
2011 : Start a research project on the native region of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi in the southern Carpathians (Laureate Cultures France grant)
2012: Invited by choregraphers Rémy Héritier and Laurent Pichaud in the frame of the european project ’Special issue’, dedicated to forms of ’performed publication’ at Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers.
2013: Professor of photography at École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (ENSP) Arles.
Group exhibitions (selection) • Monument, Musée des beaux-arts de Calais, 2014
• Quel Travail ?! Manières de voir, manières de faire. Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France, 2013 • La Montagne d’Aubervilliers, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers,
2012. • Antifotoperiodismo, Virreina Centro de la Imagen, Barcelone, 2010. • Paysages de la conscience, Musée d’Art Moderne de Bogota, 2009 • Images d’un renouvellement urbain, Le Point du jour Cherbourg 2008 • L’Archive universelle, la condition du document et l’utopie photographique moderne MACBA, Barcelone, 2008. • La Région humaine, MOCA, Lyon, 2006. • Covering the real, Kunstmuseum de Bâle, Suisse, 2005. • documenta 11, Kassel, Allemagne, 2002. • Des Territoires, école nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (ENSBA), Paris, 2001.
Solo exhibitions (selection) • Sinea, Galerie Zürcher, Paris 2012 • Le Tableau de chasse, Centre d’Art le Point du jour Cherbourg, 2010. • Le tableau de chasse, Artothèque de Caen, 2009 • Studio Shakhari Bazar, Galerie Zürcher, Paris 2006 • Envers des villes, endroit des corps, Galerie Zürcher, Paris 2005 • Studio Shakhari Bazar, centre de la Photographie Genève 2005 . • Retour au pays, Galerie Zürcher, Paris 2003.
Publications (selection) • Sinea, port-folio d’artiste (1/25 + 5 EA) 2014. • Le Tableau de Chasse, Le Point du jour éditeur, France, 2010. • Studio Shakhari Bazar, Le Point du jour éditeur, France, 2006. • Le Ruban documentaire, éditions 779, Paris, France, 2003. • Living in the fringe, éditions Figura, Paris, France,1998.