After forty years of obsessive wandering in the footsteps of old Europe as far as the United States, Stéphane Duroy today seems pushed by a wind of renewal, towards a photographic praxis taken ever further from itself. Stéphane Duroy’s eye is gradually swerving. Towards the United States, land of exile for millions of Europeans who fled Europe and its tragedies. From Coney Island to Butte, in Montana, Stéphane Duroy tirelessly criss-crosses the migrants’ symbolic path. Their further penetration from east to west in the American territory tallies with the progressive oblivion of the first catastrophe that made exile necessary. Forgetting in order to continue, and survive. For Stéphane Duroy, this relentless disappearance of landmarks, the ravages of the pioneer spirit, the cult of opportunism and the mirage of “everything’s possible” founded the power of America and the same time are undermining it. “We, Europeans, have built the American Dream, that monumental illusion which each one of us pretends to believe in.” Stéphane Duroy will never be done with America, that accursed part of himself. He will be forever returning there, enamoured of those lands with their wild glare and their mournful beauty.
In 2007, the book Unknown appeared. Stéphane Duroy got his hands on a hundred or so defective copies which proved to be a turning point in his practice. Setting aside his camera, Stéphane Duroy started using books as raw material, intervening on the page in various ways, cutting or pasting other images or news clippings, or yet writing or painting, sometimes completely obscuring the original image. New book Unknown #2, Tentative d´épuisement d´un livre (The Endless Reworking of a Book), present this ongoing work as a striking leporello.
With text in French and English, edition of 800 copies.
Signed copy. Recommended.