Bernard Faucon, War on Digital in Busan

Bernard Faucon, War on Digital in Busan
Bernard Faucon’s “Fin,” The End of the Image, 1994, pigment print
(Courtesy of Bernard Faucon )

Major photography retrospectives have been filling Seoul’s art calendars this fall and winter, but also outside the capital. Busan’s GoEun Museum of Photography — the country’s largest dedicated to the genre after the Museum of Photography — opened a major exhibition on Bernard Faucon this month.

The exhibition studies the changes in photography from past to present, taking a look at the technological advances that have incurred such evolution. Faucon, himself an influential figure in revolutionizing the way photography was approached, is re-examined in the setting of digital vs. analogue.

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Of the 83 photographs on display, 15 are printed in the traditional Fresson style, a 19th-century carbon print method that takes a considerable amount of time and effort. The photographs have been produced on handmade paper that demonstrates the grain and texture of each image.

Works from each of Faucon’s major series are represented, including “The Time of Mannequins,” “Summer Camp,” “Idols & Sacrifices,” “Writings,” and “The End of the Image.”

Born in 1950 in southern France, Faucon first made his name in the photography scene in the 1970s. During a time when the medium was largely approached as documentarian, the artist began to create staged images using mannequins. The radically oppositional approach quickly earned him both a name and popularity.

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The exhibition also confronts the way photography is used today. As today’s younger generations have furthered the tradition of self-composed, staged portraits, Faucon’s work feels all the more poignant.

Bernard Faucon” runs through January 26, 2014.