“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
After studying Fine Arts, he committed himself to documentary photography. From the field of news reporting, to the margins of society, he is interested primarily in the relationship between man and his environment. His photography now takes multiple forms: from the press to galleries and museums, and ranges from traditional reporting to conceptual photography.
Laureate of the Hachette Foundation in 2002, he began work on the frontier between the Maghreb and west Africa in Mauritania from which he produced a book: Mauritanie – Lumière Noire (Trans Photographic Press). This work was exhibited at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles in 2006. It is also in Arles, at the Abbey of Montmajour, that he exhibited in 2010 his series “Par Ailleurs”, a trip around the world without moving from the Paris suburbs. The BNF presented this work in the same year.
He has been exhibited repeatedly at Visa pour l’image: a projection of his work on precarious housing in France (2002); an exhibition of his work on the presidential campaign in Mauritania, on assignment for Le Monde (2007); “La Rive” (The Shore), a work on the theme of waiting of death in Varanasi was presented at an evening screening.
Under the impetus of the French Alliance and the Goethe Institute, he produced an exhibition during a residence at the Lahore National College of Arts using border crossings between India and Pakistan as a central theme.
In late 2011, Stéphane Lagoutte travelled to Lebanon where he began work on the series, “Beirut 75-15”, supported by a grant for documentary photography from the CNAP (National Centre for the Arts). In this series, he superimposes photographs of the capital of Lebanon today and archive images found in the Hotel Excelsior, an abandoned witness to the civil war of 1975. The series has been exhibited at the Festival du Regard in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (2016), and in galleries in Paris, Porto, Rome and Dubai.
Stéphane Lagoutte also contributes regularly to the French and international press.
He is a co-directeur and member of Agence MYOP.