The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Olivier Menanteau: Observer

Observer is the title of the exhibition by Olivier Menanteau which is opening on June 10th, from 7 PM at NO Gallery of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art.

French photographer Olivier Menanteau (1956, Salon de Provence) became an accomplished artist by photographing world leaders during official protocols, patiently observing and waiting for the moment of a more private and intimate approach. However, Menanteau does not photograph politicians and state officials in their free time. He uses the official atmosphere of their state-official activities and makes a record of their moods, the moments which are not representative by nature and cannot be seen in the media.

His artistic procedure could be contrasted to Braco Dimitrijević, who portrayed completely anonymous individuals as politicians, giving them a celebrity representative potential. Quite the contrary, Menanteau takes widely known participants on the political scene, national or international, and presents them as ‘ordinary’ people doing a certain job. An important thing to mention is that the artist uses an analogue camera.

Such a procedure results in photographs very different from the official or photo-journalist ones. The artist also analyses our opinion of politicians and contemporary media. More accurately, in his research he studies relationships between politics and media, exploring how the media cope with the regulations imposed by political representativeness.

Olivier Menanteau has successfully collaborated with the United Nations (Media Alert, 2006), Lithuanian president (Great Duchy, 2010), Cambodian royal family (For Many, Farewell Is Elusive, 2012-2013), local and national French politicians (Mediagenic-la Marseillaise, 2012-2013) and many more leading institutions and individuals.

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