290 x 290 mm
One summer night Catherine Balet was inspired by the sight of a young couple standing in the sea bathed in moonlight, shooting a self-portrait with a mobile phone. Balet was touched by the beauty of the scene, the two white bodies revealed by the lightning of the electric flash, and was struck that this was the point where technology met romanticism, where the future met the past, and the blue light of the new world met the golden light of classical painting. Connecting the ephemeral, vacuous, anonymous nature of an out-of-control digital world with enduring cultural references, Balet examines how yesterday and tomorrow can be connected. Strangers in the Light explores the dominance of media screens in contemporary life, from surgical simulators to interactive sex, from a connected family gathering to the violence of video games. Her images also refer to the narcissistic self-awareness expressed on social networks and the new approach to quick, light mobile photography that affects our visual culture. All the scenes are lit only with the technological devices, generating a mysterious beauty. Balet casts a fascinated, sometimes ironic, eye on the intricate relationship between man and technology, providing a captivating portrait of our society that hovers between fiction and documentary.
About the Artist
Catherine Balet graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and worked as a painter before turning to photography. She has exhibited widely throughout Europe and has published two previous books, Identity and Strangers in the Light (both published by Steidl). This new work will be exhibited at the European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw, in Autumn 2016 before touring to other venues in Europe.
About the Publisher
Gerhard Steidl began working as a printer and designer in 1968. From political non-fiction he then expanded into literature and selected books on art and photography. Steidl publishes German literature as well as translations from French, English and Icelandic.
In 1994 Steidl launched its international photobook program. Today it includes some of the world’s most renowned photographers and artists including Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Robert Adams, Karl Lagerfeld, Lewis Baltz, Dayanita Singh, Ed Ruscha, Roni Horn and Juergen Teller, to name but a few.
Every Steidl book distinguishes itself through individual design and production values. Known for his passion for paper, printer and publisher Gerhard Steidl personally selects the paper and binding materials for each title and oversees all aspects of the production process – each Steidl book literally passes through his hands.
Over the decades Steidl at Düstere Strasse 4 in Göttingen has become one of the most respected printers in the international publishing world. Whether photography, art, fashion or literature, it is Steidl’s goal to realize the dreams and goals of artists and authors, and to create art in book form.