press release

For several years, photographer Steeve Iuncker studied the passage from childhood to adulthood, examining the lack of clearly-identified rites in our secular societies. His pictures capture the acts of teenagers as they affiliate themselves with reckless rites. Risk-taking, seeking oblivion as a form of death and rebirth, testing boundaries and transformative acts – the photographer weaves a subtle visual coming-of-age landscape, reminding us of our own private rituals.

He maps unknown territories made up of hesitations as well as initiations, and, in a very personal way, examines a stage of life with all that it involves in terms of risk and pain in a world that offers few pointers. Parachuting, teenage pregnancies, drunken parties, periods of incubation and boredom, scarifications and tattoos, violence that simmers or is channeled into sport - the aspects addressed by the photographer do not attempt to give a universal, unequivocal definition of teenage rites of passage. Instead, he sketches a subtle, intimate portrait of youth trying to find itself.

Steeve Iuncker works in large 4x5 inch film format, giving a distance to the subject that he esteems “just” – in other words, honest and non-intrusive. His approach, both intimate and informative, is transformed at the moment of printing by an analogical pigment process (the Quadrichromie Fresson carbon process). The resulting pictorial aspect gives this very contemporary work a timeless materiality and esthetics.


Caroline Recher, Musée de l’Elysée, assisted by Christelle Michel