Ulrich Lebeuf: Khaos
Ulrich Lebeuf (b. 1972, France) has covered every ‘act’ of the Gilets Jaunes protests since November 2018 – as a photojournalist. With KHAOS, he approaches this period of unprecedented social struggle with a renewed eye; far removed from more conventional ways of visualising news stories, from the formal and information-led constraints of editorial assignments. This profound and innovative re-reading of the events offers a more pictorial yet abstruse ‘poetic of violence’.
Using extreme reframing and post-processing to create a very dark, grainy effect, Lebeuf arrives at a subjective reinterpretation of his own experiences with the ‘Yellow Vests’. His deliberate obscuring of each image and the absence of context means the project is an archetype of the kind of worldwide protest we’ve become so familiar with in recent years. But it should also be considered a contemplative reflection by the author on his position within the realm of photojournalism; a critical questioning of the essence of the events as they occurred in front of his camera.
Lebeuf has been an active member of Agence Myop since January 2007. He is also the artistic director of the MAP Photography Festival in Toulouse and leads workshops in France and abroad. Today, while continuing to work as a photojournalist, Lebeuf focuses more on personal projects, for which he alternates photographic processes according to the subject matter: colour, black and white, Polaroid or more painterly techniques.