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10 August 2011

Tendance Floue, Getting down to it

Tendance Floue is a collective of fourteen photographers. Its creation in 1991 grew out of a fierce desire to keep a kind of independence that would guarantee freedom for each one of them. Freedom to explore the world against a tide of globalised images, to look into the shadows of the subjects they expose, to capture unguarded moments. The attraction of the collective is that the photographers can venture into unknown territory to get material for their shared photographic research. Press photography, publishing, exhibitions, screenings, sale of prints, company public relations—the collective can open any door and use all the modern materials. Nothing is barred. For the last twenty years, an indefinable alchemy of ideas and energy has given rise to a particular photographic language and enabled them to question the various modes of depiction and to find a fresh narrative style. Tendance Floue is a new kind of laboratory, founded on the crazy generosity of friendship.


Tendance Floue has, by dint of its energy, its flair for innovation, and the originality of its mode of functioning, become a new alternative to the accepted idea of a photographic agency. In the collective dimension of their venture the perceptive we adds up to the sum of all the sensitive first person singular I’s. This is particularly evident in the famous Mad in reports. In these highly original, tough and incisive reports the skills and sensibilities of each member shine with great formal and conceptual freedom. In their idealistic and transgressive way, the Tendance Floue Agency offer ample resistance to the increasingly standardised distribution and mediatisation practices of photojournalism. Through their challenging attitudes, they give us a new experience of photography. The collective’s twentieth anniversary provides an opportunity to understand the spirit that animates them. The mixture of different modes of depiction at the Magasin Électrique, and the plethora of installations there, take us on a journey to the heart of Tendance Floue. The field of experience opens on to exhibition spaces and powerful screenings. The two spaces are inhabited in such a way as to sensitize the public to the fragile but intense balance between the collective work and the individual universes of the members of the collective—to retell the story of this febrile liberty with a fresh manifestation.

Photographs by Pascal Aimar, Thierry Ardouin, Denis Bourges, Gilles Coulon, Olivier Culmann, Bieke Depoorter, Mat Jacob, Caty Jan, Philippe Lopparelli, Bertrand Meunier, Meyer, Flore-Aël Surun, Patrick Tourneboeuf, Alain Willaume.


Spatial sound design: Dominique Besson.

Exhibition produced with the support of Olympus France, historical partner of Tendance Floue.

Exhibition venue: Magasin électrique, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2011.