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press kit (pdf)
Maison Européenne de la Photographie - Paris (2006)

Un/mille à 2.8 by Peter Knapp

Rip Hopkins, Martin Kollar and Tiane Doan Na Champassak have recently been awarded a number of major photography prizes. Members of the VU Agency, they travel widely, choose their own subjects and engage in long term projects. The photographs for the exhibition were chosen at the last minute to ensure they reflect their most recent work.

Born in Sheffield in 1972, Rip Hopkins works on themes related to humanitarian issues, social awareness and geopolitics, exploring form in order to deal most effectively with his chosen subjects. He is a true photojournalist, collecting as much information as possible on the themes he chooses to deal with, and makes innovative use of panoramic lenses and colour in the visual investigations of reality that constitute the main body of his work. What sets Rip Hopkins apart is his sensitivity to colour and materials and sense of what makes up a "setting", which he expresses in an idiom that is both poetic and restrained.

Paris anonymous

Interview with Fabrice Drouzy, Libération

« Where did the idea come from for the masks ? There are two reasons. The first is that in Paris people are very much aware of the power of images and media, so they usually refuse to be photographed. Photographers working in the street are often agressed. So I decided to get around this problem by using it to my advantage, by turning it into a game. It was funny to see that Parisians refused to have their photograph taken, then accepted when asked to wear the mask.

The second reason for the masks is that people don’t look at each other in the street, they censor themselves, compared to places like Africa where everybody touches one another with their eyes. Here passer-bys ignore each other on purpose, from fear, so as to avoid trouble, its almost as if they are wearing masks.

This work is therefore a criticism of a state of mind, but has also a lighthearted side : people look like shrews or moles. Creatures emerging from their den. Furthermore I made many different masks before finding the appropriate one. »

12 silver prints - 40*50cm
Mounted on aluminium (3mm thick) with 5cm wall stand