Christophe Agou

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Christophe Agou (1969 – September 2015) was a French documentary photographer and street photographer who lived in New York City.[1] His work has been published in books and is held in public collections. He was a member of the In-Public street photography collective.


Agou was born in Montbrison, France in 1969.[2] A self-taught photographer, Agou grew up in a small town in the Forez region, on the eastern side of the Massif Central.[3]

From the early 1990s, Agou made documentary-style photographs in both black and white and color which take an allusive approach to the human condition. He also made short films and sculpture. In 1992, he moved to New York City.[2][3] He began taking photographs in the streets that evoked a sense of longing and isolation. He made photographs at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001, which were used in numerous publications. He first came to prominence with photographs taken in the New York City Subway, published in his book Life Below (2004).

In 2002 Agou returned to Forez.[3] He traveled to the lesser-known parts of the region and got to know a community of family farmers whose identities are deeply rooted to the land. He photographed and filmed them at work and at home for eight years. This resulted in Face au Silence / In the Face of Silence, a documentary about rural life in early twenty-first century France. The work won him the 2010 European Publishers Award for Photography,[4] and publication in six editions and in six languages.[5]

He became a member of the In-Public street photography collective in 2005.[2]

Agou died in September 2015 of cancer.[6]


Publications by Agou[edit]

  • Life Below: The New York City Subway. New York: Quantuck Lane Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59372-008-4.
  • Face au Silence. Text by John Berger.
  • Les Faits Secondaires. Christophe Agou, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4675-7085-5. Texts by Agou and John Berger. Poems by Daniel De Bruycker [Wikidata]. Edition of 700 copies.

Publications with contributions by Agou[edit]


Films by Agou[edit]

  • Face au Silence = In the Face of Silence (2011).[a]

Films with Agou[edit]

  • In-Sight (2011). 38-minute documentary directed and edited by Nick Turpin, commissioned by Format for the Format International Photography Festival, Derby, 2011. Includes interviews with Agou, Richard Bram, Melanie Einzig, David Gibson, Jesse Marlow, Gus Powell, Otto Snoek, David Solomons, and Nick Turpin, and shows them at work.[b]


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Face au silence. Rencontres d'Arles Festival, Arles, France. 18 November 2011 – 21 January 2012.[7]
  • Face au silence. Fait & Cause Galerie, Paris, France. 18 November 2011 – 14 January 2012.[8]
  • Face au silence. Musée d'art Roger Quilliot [Wikidata] (MARQ), Clermont-Ferrand, France. 26 January – 29 April 2012.[9]
  • Face au silence. Galerie Intervalle, Paris, France. 3 September – 11 October 2014.[10][11]

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • in-public @ 10, Photofusion, Brixton, London, 28 May – 9 July 2010.[12] Travelled to Les Ballades Photographiques de Seyssel, Seyssel, France, 12–23 July 2011, where it also included the film In-Sight (2011) and The French exhibition by Nick Turpin.[13][14] Included photographs by In-Public members Agou, Nick Turpin, David Gibson, Richard Bram, Matt Stuart, Andy Morley-Hall, Trent Parke, Narelle Autio, Adrian Fisk, Nils Jorgensen, Jesse Marlow, Melanie Einzig, Jeffrey Ladd, Amani Willett, Gus Powell, Otto Snoek, Blake Andrews, David Solomons, George Kelly and Paul Russell.
  • Street Photography Now, Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, 10 October – 14 November 2010. Photographs from the book Street Photography Now (2011).[15]
  • 2015: The Sharp Eye. In-Public in Mexico, Foto Mexico, Cine Tonalá, Mexico City, Mexico, October–November 2015. Slideshow of photographs by Agou, Andrews, Bram, Dakowicz, Einzig, Fisk, Gibson, Todd Gross, Hansen, Jorgensen, Kelly, Marlow, Morley-Hall, Parke, Gus Powell, Mark Powell, Russell, Snoek, Solomons, Stuart, Turpin, and Willett. Curated by Mark Powell, Carlos Álvarez Montero and Alfredo Esparza.[16]



Agou's work is held in the following public collections:


  1. ^ The 12-minute film can be seen here at Vimeo.
  2. ^ There is a trailer for the film; access to the full film can be bought here at Distrify.


  1. ^ Chan, Sewell (7 January 2005). "Want Shots Like This? Get a Permit". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Christophe Agou". In-Public. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Exhibition notice Archived 2013-04-12 at, Clermont-Ferrand city website.
  4. ^ "In the Face of Silence". Aesthetica. April 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Christophe Agou wins European Publishers Award". In-Public. 8 September 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  6. ^ Bram, Richard (18 September 2015). "Christophe Agou, 1969–2015". In-Public. Archived from the original on 20 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  7. ^ Bénédicte Philippe, "Christophe Agou: Face au silence", Télérama.
  8. ^ Victoria Scoffier, "Face au silence, le temps d’un livre", 6 mois, 21 October 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e Press release for Face au Silence[permanent dead link] (PDF, 27 pp, 432 kB), Clermont-Ferrand city website.
  10. ^ Exhibition notice, L'Officiel des spectacles.
  11. ^ "Christophe Agou exposé à Paris", Picto.
  12. ^ "In-Public@10". Photofusion. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  13. ^ "74 - Seyssel • Balades photographiques de Seyssel". fr:Compétence photo. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Les balades photographiques de Seyssel, du 12 au 23 juillet". fr:La Tribune républicaine de Bellegarde. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Street photography now at the Third Floor Gallery Archived 2016-04-01 at the Wayback Machine.", In-Public, 5 October 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  16. ^ "The Sharp Eye. iN-PUBLIC in Mexico: Group Show". Centro de la Imagen. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Previous Winners". European Publishers Award for Photography. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  18. ^ "John Berger: Understanding a Photograph: A panel with Geoff Dyer, Christophe Agou, Wendy Lesser, and Lawrence Weschler", Arts Initiative, Columbia University, 2013. Accessed 8 May 2014.
  19. ^ Press release (PDF), Actes Sud.
  20. ^ "Documentaire: Fonds d'aide à l'innovation audiovisuelle (aide à l'écriture): Résultats de la commission du 17 février 2012, CNC.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Christophe Agou", Galerie Intervalle.

External links[edit]