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October 2008

As part of the upcoming Paris Photo Month from 3 to 30 November a multimedia installation featuring the ‘TV Shots’ work of Magnum Photos’ photographer Harry Gruyaert will be displayed at the Passage du Désir venue in Paris.

The installation features the photographs shot by Gruyaert of television screens or fragments of screens taken during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich with images that mingled sporting events, TV series, news, films, advertisements, dog shows and more.

The multimedia installation will feature 150 visuals projected via four Canon XEED SX7 digital projectors on four walls in a huge eight square metre box that will be open to public for viewing. The photographs will be accompanied by sound presentation of audio clips collected from the 1970s.

Belgium-born Gruyaert explained: “I was living in London in the early ‘70s. There was a television set that didn’t work properly in the flat I was staying in; when you moved the indoor aerial and kept fiddling with the switches it was possible to obtain fascinating colours. At the time, of course, the video recorder didn’t exist, not to mention the freeze frame or the possibility of winding backwards.”

© Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos

Gruyaert added: “I was in live contact with what was showing, holding my camera and sometimes moving very close to the screen to frame it differently. I ended up by finding myself in a situation very close to that of street photography in which, I believe, a good image is a question of controlling chance - a sort of small miracle.”

The installation features Gruyaert’s images, sound design by composer Louis Dandrel, and staging design by multimedia author Olivier Koechlin. Koechlin told CPN: “It’s going to be a box of eight metres by eight metres square and four metres high. We’re going to build it with black curtains and have octophonic sound. The animation will be done by computer to show the images in a certain rhythm, and the music will come from samples from the 1970s and from some new electronic music. We are using SXGA+ projectors settled on the top of the box and they will project downwards to the opposite side of the box. It will be very energetic.”

The book of TV Shots (published by Steidl) is available in all good bookshops for €40, or via The 15th biennial Paris ‘Mois de la Photo’ has the theme ‘European photography - tradition and mutation’ and will run during November 2008 – to find out more just click here. Canon is a technical partner of Harry Gruyaert's multimedia installation.