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Silent Stories
Valérie Belin, Galatée, 2023.
© Valérie Belin.
Courtesy of Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris _ Bruxelles. 

Valérie Belin »

Silent Stories

Photo London Master of Photography 2024

Exhibition: 16 May – 19 May 2024

Wed 15 May

Photo London

Somerset House - The Strand
WC2R 1LA London

+44-(0)20 7759 1170



Photo London’s Master of Photography for 2024 is one of France’s most popular and acclaimed photographers, Valérie Belin. With the exhibition Silent Stories, Belin presents three decades of work, reflecting an iconography that is deliberately silent, through images that — in the words of their creator — ”are neither narrative nor documentary and tell no particular stories, but are designed to be seen as the mirror of fictions without words.” 

Showcasing a selection of large-format photographs that span from the late 1990s to today, and featuring her latest series, Lady Stardust (2023) presented for the first time in London, Silent Stories sees Belin’s progression from black and white to colour, and from silver to digital, appropriating the technological changes in photography in her search for a new ontology. 

Belin’s subjects explore our innate desire to tell stories and the increasingly blurred lines between illusion and reality: from the earliest series Venice (1997) and Cars (1998) in which humans are the absent protagonists; to bodies of works that explore the complex interplay between man and man-made — such as the Body Builders (1999), Michael Jackson (2003), Mannequins (2003) and Mask (2004) series; through to the layered pigment prints made over the past decade — Black Eyed Susan (2010), All Star (2016) and Modern Royals (2020), for instance — in which post-production plays an essential role in the definition of women. 

Proceeding from absent protagonists to lookalikes, and from stereotypes to constructed icons, her work addresses the theme of the simulacrum that is so central to contemporary existence. Belin explains: “We are in a superimposed society saturated with too much information…. You don’t know what’s real or not. You have this dimension of metamorphosis of the living in which every person wants to become the equivalent of a stereotype.”