Jean-Robert Dantou

Jean-Robert Dantou was born in Paris in 1980. He pursued the study of both Photography (from the Louis Lumiere School in Paris) and Sociology (from ENS and EHESS in Paris) and integrates both fields into his work.

For several years he focused on the theme of social and political problems linked to collective memory and migration. He produced a book on China, Ombres Chinoises, published by Atlantica, Paris in 2004.

Following that, he devoted his time to various projects that mix photography and social sciences in the United States, Germany, India, France, and Chile. He splits his time between documentary work for the Franco-German television channel, Arte, a creative visual and sound workshop in the Jean Renoir High School in Bondy (a Parisian suburb), as well as continuing his work on the settings of political life throughout the world.

His project "Political Landscapes" based on photographs he took during the US Presidential campaign in 2007-2008, focuses on the spaces that campaigning political leaders and citizens meet and how those interactions are "mediatized".

"These photographs reveal shows and tricks, and tries to figure out the way images are used in the current political life. I aim for depicting different processes implemented by this outstanding campaign. Huge rallies gather tens of thousands of spectators in which everything is controlled. Campaign teams select specific places and grant it each media (TV, radio, photographers, newspapers) according to the way they are expected to cover the rally.

Television is at the heart of the “arena”, photographers stand up in front of campaigners flags whereas radios sit alongside the most noisy campaigners groups. This new kind of rally tries to make believe that there is a closeness between the candidate and the common citizen who’s considered the main target of any political communication. As a result, these forced places are supposed to be perfectly genuine, but betray in fact, better than the great political shows or anything else, the communicational issues of political life and the fictional aspects of such a controlled presidential campaign.”"

He continues to pursue thoughtful and challenging image-making examining both in France and beyond.