Bruno Carbonnet was born in 1957 and initially served as a novice deck officer in the merchant navy before graduating from the École des beaux-arts in Quimper in 1979. His pictorial research manifests a consideration for presence, an attention to vision and to memory-based phenomena.
His work, which includes painting, photography and videography, was presented at the Paris and São Paulo Biennales in 1980 and 1987 respectively, and in the contemporary art gallery of the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1991. A major retrospective of his work was held at Carré d’Art in Nîmes in 2001. He was also commissioned an architectural piece on the theme of mourning for the Fécamp Hospital in 2006.
As from 2011, he gradually distanced himself from the sole practice of painting to focus on the possibilities of other narrative worlds, using words and sound and venturing into the fields of poetry, rock music, reading, field recording and performed lectures. This new area of research centred on writing led to projects performed in collaboration with Analogues éditions in Arles (2012), Hervé Bize Gallery in New York (The Armory Show), Magasin de Grenoble (2016) and Galerie Françoise Besson in Lyon (2018). His first book as a writer, Cloaque, was published by Hippocampe éditions in June 2017. Cloaque is both a story and a retelling of a real-life event – the sinking of the Sewol ferry in South Korea –, in which he drew from several trips to the Islands of the Yellow Sea. In 2018, his exhibition Recoupements consisted in a “montage installation” that combined pictures, words and a performed reading. His second book was due to be published by Hippocampe éditions in 2019.
Translated by Lucy Pons, 2020