Thierry Cohen


Thierry Cohen, Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 LST 12:34, 2011, Archival Pigment Ink Prints mounted under Plexiglas & mounted on Dibond © Photo Thierry Cohen / Courtesy Galerie Esther Woedehoff, Paris

Thierry Cohen, Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 LST 12:34, 2011, Archival Pigment Ink Prints mounted under Plexiglas & mounted on Dibond © Photo Thierry Cohen / Courtesy Galerie Esther Woedehoff, Paris

Binary Kids and Darkened Cities

curated by Laura Serani
with the support of Granon Digital


times and locations

Chiostri di San Domenico
via Dante Alighieri, 11
42121 Reggio Emilia

friday 3rd may open from 6.30 pm to midnight; saturday 4th and sunday 5th may from 10 am to midnight; from 6th may to 16th june open on friday from 7 pm to 11 pm; saturday from 10 am to 11 pm, sunday from 10 am to 9 pm


The technological revolution has changed the way society functions from its chief systems to individual behaviour.
Thierry Cohen was one of the first French photographers to work with new technologies back in the late 1980s, quickly adopting digital techniques and exploring their potential. But above all, he questioned the impact of new technologies on society, from the private sphere to the public one.
His first work in this direction, Binary Kids, visibly translates the eruption of new systems of thought and communication in our mental structure. A series of portraits of children and adolescents, emblematically represented by the “internet generation”, becomes the screen format of information technology circuits and electronic components.
The plasticity of the portraits, an allusion to classic painting, contrasted with the detachment of the superimposed watermark images, like mysterious tattoos or esoteric lacework. A way of representing the possession of brain activity, expressing a series of concerns and questions regarding the power of artificial intelligence.
Through the series Darkened Cities, begun in 2011, Cohen uses the same originality and recourse to new technologies to confront the issue of light pollution in cities and its influence on perception. Using a procedure once again involving the superimposition of two realities, Cohen depicts the starlit sky on top of the megalopolis, as it truly is, albeit invisible.
Using wide ranging panoramic views or dizzying close-ups in the heart of cities drowned in the dark, his images are powerfully beautiful and immensely magical. Through an extremely complex procedure, after having turned out every artificial light and transposing images of the skies above New York, Rio, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Paris, photographed at the same latitude but in open and desert spaces, Cohen creates a blackout and an effect of absolute disorientation. Anachronistic visions that recall the ancient relationship with the sky, now lost and impossible in cities that are illuminated throughout the day and night.
Visions where from the dark, under star scattered skies, profiles of cities slowly emerge, recognisable thanks to emblematic places or buildings.
Laura Serani

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Thierry Cohen (Paris, 1963) has been a professional photographer since 1985 and from the end of the 80s on a pioneer in the use of digital techniques. He lives and works in Paris.
Since 2006, he has devoted most of his time to his personal work. In 2008 with his Binary Kids series, he questions the future of the next generations facing networks and digital technologies, both, the origin and consequences of growth. Since 2010, from megacities to deserts, he has mainly worked to achieve: Darkened Cities giving back stars to cities for the viewer and raising public awareness to the problem of light pollution.
Selected solo exhibitions include Darkened Cities, Danziger Gallery, New York, 2013; Villes éteintes, Official Selection Mois de la Photo à Paris, Esther Woerdehoff Gallery, 2012; Bugs Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme, Parc du Château, France, 2009; Binary Kids , Official Selection Mois de la Photo à Paris, Espace Univer. His works have been displayed in group exhibitions including Photos Folies, Galerie Contre Jour, Paris, 1993; Tous parents, tous différents, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, The Color of Fashion, The Courtyard Gallery, New York, 1992; Mac 2000, Grand Palais, Paris, 1988. His work was published in the book Villes éteintes, Marval Publisher, Parigi. 2012.