Grégoire Korganow : Prisons

Art, Photography
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© Grégoire Korganow

Photo reporting on prisons isn't a new genre, but a show of this calibre is rare – and with a level of research and dedication to match. Grégoire Korganow spent three years visiting French prisons in the guise of an inspector, a disguise which enabled him to move freely through the system and to capture the inmates and their environments with unprecedented intimacy. Spending between five and ten days in each prison, Korganow was able to slip in and out of cells, showers, visiting rooms and exercise yards. He saw stifling boredom, humiliation, solitude, hostility, surveillance and depression – and the rare moments of meeting between inmates and their families. Enraged by what he saw, he felt a need to denounce the conditions he had seen by showing the details of imprisonment in close-up. With 'Prisons', Korganow both takes a stand and finds himself a place in the canon of great social photography, such as Lewis Hine's factories, Charles Nègre's asylums and Jacob Riis's slums. It's a hard-hitting show, but without drama or miserabilism – simply glimpses of alienation in a world where, according to the texts that accompany the photographs, another inmate in France commits suicide every three days.

By: TB/EH

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