Kimberley, 1867. The discovery of a massive diamond causes the birth of a city situated in the desert of the Great Karoo, 1 230 meters above the sea level in the province of North Cape. Since then, many lives have succeeded. The settlers have been replaced by tourists. And we can’t find any diamond anymore. Patrick Tourneboeuf walked the streets of the city center and its limits, its suburbs, the stadium, the cemetery, questioning the aesthetic and sociological issues of photography.
Series done in the framework of the collaborative photography project « Transition, Social Landscape project » : twelve South African and French photographers on South African land and the role that photography continues to play in the representation and re-imagining of land. The Social Landscape project cites the work of six South African photographers: Pieter Hugo, Santu Mofokeng, Zanele Muholi, Cedric Nunn, Jo Ractliffe, Thabiso Sekgala who have worked alongside six French photographers: Philippe Chancel, Thibaut Cuisset, Raphaël Dallaporta, Harry Gruyaert (born in Belgium and living in France), Patrick Tournebœuf, and Alain Willaume.
Patrick Tourneboeuf, born in 1966 in Paris. He portrays men by photographing the traces they leave behind them, the places they bring to life and, sometimes, abandon. Using a large-format camera, his method, resolutely artistic, systematic, recounts times past and present. The absence of an image reveals a human presence.
He started by working on the monumental aspect of the Paris “périphérique”, with a series that is both nocturnal and contemplative, as opposed to the more classic photographs of the well known circular belt.
In the year 2000, his next series entitled “Huis-clos” (Behind Closed Doors) was based on the everyday life of new recruits into the French Navy, at the Naval Instruction Centre of Querqueville. The same year, Patrick explored sea side resorts when completely out of season. This became the starting point of a series entitled “Nulle part” (Nowhere).
Next came “Cicatrice” (Scar), a documentary on the remnants of the Berlin Wall, and “À la mémoire du jour J” (In Memory of D-Day), depicts the beaches in Normandy where the Allies landed. Two facets of an art project that feeds a memory which tends to forget, also taking into account the alterring effect of time. Since 1999, he has been working on a photographic research project for the French Ministry of Culture, on several historic monuments: the Grand Palais, the Chateau de Versailles and the National Archives.