NEW YORK, NY.-
presents François-Marie Baniers portraits of Moroccan construction workers sleeping or at rest in their places of work. Caught in moments of dreaming and escape from their labor, Baniers subjects blend into the soft grey atmosphere of his pictures and seem, if but for a moment, to have escaped the harsher facts of reality. These are candid and tender portraits which continue Baniers practice of photographing strangers he meets in small and large cities.
In his words: To photograph workers asleep on the very ground of their construction site was, once again, to follow the paradoxical lines of being, a solitude embodied in movie heroes who change faces, roles, centuries and sometimes genders, in each of their naps.
François-Marie Banier was born in 1947 in Paris. A novelist and playwright, Banier has also been taking photographs of public figures and anonymous people in the street since the 1970s. In 1991 the Centre Pompidou in Paris displayed his photography for the first time; exhibitions followed in Europe, Asia and America. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris presented a retrospective in 2003, exhibiting Baniers written and painted photographs for the first time. His books published by Steidl include Perdre la tête (2006), Beckett (2009), Never stop dancing (2016) and Dreamers.
I used to get up from the ground, from these minutes of detachment. Ive been in the same dust, and at the end of a shift I washed my face and hands, not for hygiene, but so Id have them back, as restitution. Under the water they became mine again. --Erri De Luca