3: Landscape as Political Text To Do

Luc Delahaye

!!To be done

Luc Delahaye (born France 1962) also describes history painting as a point of reference to his practice, although his process is very different to Wall’s. Delahaye, whose earlier career was in photojournalism, continues to make work around current, ‘newsworthy’ stories across the globe. Throughout his ongoing History series, Delahaye has attended political ceremonies and meetings, as well as recent and current war zones. Instead of using high-end digital equipment
and hurrying to transmit his images to agencies before his competitors in the field, Delahaye uses large format analogue cameras to make large-scale gallery prints. His approach goes very much against the grain of modern photojournalism. While his images are not typically as sparse of people as the work of ‘late photographers’ working with similar equipment, they all have the
presence and communicate the gravitas of the scenarios he depicts. Unlike photojournalism, there is no conspicuous attempt to reveal a ‘decisive moment’. Delahaye photographs at a discrete, but not disengaged, distance:
“As Delahaye points out, his pictures highlight ‘the insignificance of my
own position.’ They also entail a reversal of the history paintings they
call upon, where the grandeur, spectacle and glory of war and figures
of power were celebrated. There is little that is glorious here. Instead, his
views show up the scale of things, very often putting them in perspective.”
(Mark Durden ‘Global Documentary’ (2005) in Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2005. London: The Photographers’ Gallery, p.13)

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