Christian Poncet was born in Lyon in 1951. At the age of 18, he discovered the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and took up photography seriously. Street photography” became his preferred practice – urban space and the bustle of cities were his main sources of inspiration. Today, the “decisive moment” remains his watchword – even if, in parallel, the use of the pinhole camera, which he discovered twenty years ago, leads him to explore other techniques and to approach a more contemplative, less compulsive photography. The archaism and slowness of the process forced him to modify his vision, abandoning the reality of the moment for a more timeless, poetic aesthetic.
In 1997, he produced a first series on the neighbouring lakes (Annecy-Le Bourgey), then, in 2004, a work on “the beach” where the pinhole camera becomes a reporting tool, capturing the languid bathers without their knowledge – a veritable time challenge, due to the need for perfect immobility lasting several minutes in order to record an image.
Since 2009, he has been working by Lake Geneva: the use of the pinhole camera combined with the negative gives the images a new aesthetic reminiscent of drawing or painting – disciplines which, for him, are inaccessible.
In 2012, he began working in the north of France, particularly the coastline from the Bay of the Somme to Belgium. He produces various series mixing black and white, colour, pinhole photos… which develop little by little as he travels regularly in this region which fascinates him.
Christian Poncet’s photographs have been the subject of numerous personal and group exhibitions. For the past ten years, his pinhole photographs have been regularly exhibited in France (Annecy, Evian, Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, Sète…). His work has been awarded prestigious prizes including the AGFA Multicontrast International Competition and the Ilford B&W Competition. He has published a number of books of pinhole photography and classical photography. His book “Les chevaux du lac”, published in 2007, was prefaced by Jérôme Garcin, with a text by Michel Germain. His works are included in several public and private collections, in Annecy, Grenoble and Evian.
Solo exhibitions at Mind’s Eye / Galerie Adrian Bondy