La Chute

Denis Darzacq captures moments of suspended animation that hang open for interpretation.

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© Denis Darzacq / Courtesy of the artist and de Soto Gallery, Los Angeles.

In 2005, riots rocked Paris and its banlieue, and Denis Darzacq followed the press coverage with increasing dismay. He felt that the media’s depiction of the action as random, unorganized, and undisciplined denigrated the disenfranchised young people involved, that their expression was derided for poor execution. But Darzacq saw something else as well: an entire generation in free fall without a safety net from society, its energy and potential untapped. When he met a group of young people practicing hip-hop moves in the streets of Paris, he saw how to craft a response. The subjects’ eerie calm comes from being in their element and controlling their own movement. Although they appear to float or fall, they’re actually jumping.

La Chute (“The Fall”) won the prestigious World Press Photo Prize for “Stories” in the Art and Entertainment category in 2007. Darzacq does not use Photoshop. He lives and works in Paris, France.