CODEX, America 1986-2017*
Antoine d’Agata's first U.S. exhibition, CODEX, America 1986-2017
Identified as an anthology of d’Agata’s most controversial works, the photographs in Codex stand out for their overt, almost brutal depiction of a society overrun by a spiral of violence. In reviewing the violence of a culture through the degeneration and paroxysm of the flesh, the photographer attempts to reveal fragments of societies overlooked in habitual analyses and visualizations of the social body. He exposes himself, sharpening his awareness of the world that absorbs us and from which we feed, without the slightest precaution or judgment.
"I never wanted to accept the position of the observer who is not involved in the situation. The technique and the aesthetics do not matter to me. Only the essence of what is happening is important to me." – Antoine D’Agata
© Antoine d’ Agata | Magnum Photos
CODEX, America 1986-2017, Antoine d’Agata
“A photograph is as authentic as a photographer’s physical position and the responsibility arising from it. Life overcomes art, and art perverts life.”– Antoine D’Agata
CODEX, America 1986-2017 the first solo US exhibition by French photographer, Antoine d’Agata. This monumental collection of d’Agata’s controversial work is one of the most talked-about photography exhibitions of the past decade, on exhibit for the first time in the US. Containing striking images of people living on the fringes of society, these images are a challenging and captivating collection from one of the most renowned photographers working today.
Detached from a direct documentary style, Antoine d’Agata relays his personal experiences through situations that bare them witness. By transgressing the boundary that separates the photographic subject, he himself becomes the object of his images, an obliging actor in his own premeditated scene. Only the fusion of bodies lay beyond the reach of history, in slow agony with the hallmark of the consciousness and irony, watching over death and living for a vision of a loving world. The photographer confronts it with desperation and brutality, ferocious misery and abomination.
The exhibition CODEX features the different journeys of Antoine d’Agata in the American continent over the course of 33 years. It is a set of fixed images and narratives in motion, which make up a personal diary that confronts and enters into dialog with the reality of the world and of a continent.
The artist shows his vision and personal perspective on the different contexts he connected. The images correspond to the different countries, situations, and marginal contexts that are directly linked to the author’s evolution and development and his use of photographic language.
CODEX, America 1986-2017 - will be on display at MiamiPhotoFest 2019 - Feb 27th - Mar 3rd.
*18 and older only, parental discretion is advised
Born in Marseilles, Antoine d'Agata left France in 1983 and remained overseas for the next ten years. Finding himself in New York in 1990, he pursued an interest in photography by taking courses at the International Center of Photography, where his teachers included Larry Clark and Nan Goldin. During his time in New York , in 1991-92, D'Agata worked as an intern in the editorial department of Magnum, but despite his experiences and training in the US, after his return to France in 1993 he took a four-year break from photography. His first books of photographs, De Mala Muerte and Mala Noche, were published in 1998, and the following year Galerie Vu began distributing his work. In 2001 he published Hometown, and won the Niépce Prize for young photographers. Compiling intimate and provocative images, the book focused on his travels in France and personal journey. Traveling around the world, documenting his personal experiences and encounters, d’Agata continued to publish regularly: Vortex and Insomnia appeared in 2003, accompanying his exhibition 1001 Nuits, which opened in Paris in September; Stigma was published in 2004, and Manifeste in 2005. In 2004 D'Agata joined Magnum Photos and in the same year, shot his first short film, Le Ventre du Monde (The World's Belly); this experiment led to his long feature film Aka Ana, shot in 2006 in Tokyo.
Since 2005 Antoine d'Agata has had no settled place of residence but has worked around the world.