Born in 1988, Laudun, France.
+33 (0)6 10 44 73 02
"Commencements", Estart gallery, Pietrasanta, August 2015
"Matieres de l'Interieur", for the Autofocus prize/Vanni Ochiali, Young photography, Torino, May - June 2015
"Paths", at Theatre de National Toulouse / Galerie Pinxit, Toulouse, April - May 2014
"Sharing Paths", at the Espacio Valverde Gallery, Madrid, December 2013
"Sharing Paths", at the Urban Spree Gallery, Berlin, September 2013
"Immaculate and Primates", at Confluence Gallery, Nantes, March - April 2011
"Immaculate and Primates", at Schierke Space, Munich, October - December 2010
"Immaculate and Primates", at G3 Gallery, Hamburg, May - September 2010
"At the edge of Brink", Immaculate and Primates, at Galerie Chambre avec vues, Paris, May - July 2010
"Commencements", at Lamb Arts gallery, London, February - March 2015
"Paths", at Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery, the other, Turin, November 2014
"Paths", at Galerie Le LAB, Paris, September - November 2014
"Paths", at Dakar Biennale, May - June 2014
"Paths", at Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery, Tel-Aviv, January - February 2014
"Immaculate and Primates", at Promenades de Vendome, Vendome, June - August 2011
"Primates", Souvenir From earth TV (slideshow) showing in Palais de Tokyo, 2010.
"Primates", at Librairie de la Galerie, Paris, Mai 2010
"Primates", at The LAB, Los Angeles, March - April 2010
TALLULAH, UK, Spring 2015
P magazine, Mexico, September 2015
SLATE, US, summer 2015
Huffington Post, US, summer 2015
L'ALPE, France, Spring 2015
ABYSS, Japan, Winter 2014
NUMERO Homme, France, October 2014
FHM, Russia, October 2014
A/R Magazine, France, September 2014
ART Magazin, Germany, May 2014
PICNIC, Mexico, April 2014
ABOUT, Italy, April 2014
Aereview, Italy, February 2014
NeverLazy, Spring 2014
ArtWorks Journal, UK, January 2014
Vaucluse / Dauphine, France, January 2014
DN magazine, January 2014
TeMag, China, December 2013
Lensa, Indonesia, October 2013
Wallpaper UK* 'Case studies', September 2013
Exberliner, Germany, September 2013
Berlin Poche, Germany, September 2013
Montem, Japan, September 2013
Kmag, Poland, September 2013
Esquire, Kazakhstan, July 2013
Outlook magazine, China, July 2013
Phases, France, July 2013
Kalbut, Germany, July 2013
Die Zeit, Germany, June 2013
KYUR8, England, #29, June 2013
Il Post, Italy, June 2013
Theatre national de Toulouse, Program, 2013 - 2014
THE OPERA, Contemporary nude photography, October 2012
Le Photographe, French edition on nudes, January 2012
The Positive Magazine, Russia, July 2011
Images, French edition, April 2011
La Tribune, French newspaper, April 2011
Of the Afternoon, 2010
Poncz Magazine, Poland, on 2 pages, issue n°02, June 2010
CZE Magazine, Czech Rep. , on 10 pages, issue 3, June 2010
Devoraran, Spanish magazine, 4th issue June 2010
Twill., Worldwide magazine, Issue 13 about Democracy, April 2010
Raize, French magazine, on 6 pages, issue 01 April 2010
Trendsetter, Turkish magazine, on 4 pages, March - April 2010
JoiA, Chile magazine, issue 12 March 2010
TITLE, US, p.50 to 59, issue n°06, February - March 2010
Esquire, Russian edition, p.70 to 75, February 2010
180 Mag, Canada, on 6 pages, February 2010
Wallpaper*, UK edition, January 2010
VnFold, Worldwide magazine, Issue n°02 January 2010
Frozzen, Mexican magazine, p.56 to 59, Issue 04, January 2010
Autofocus Prize, Torino, Italy, 2014
Selected for the Voies-Off, Rencontres Photographiques d'Arles, 2010.
Wallpaper* Graduate Directory 2010.
Sharing Paths, edition of 250 (and special edition of 50), Paths, self-published, 2013
Texts and excerpts,
'The naked madness'
by Sandra Danicke in ART Magazin, May 2014
Man muss sie regelrecht suchen, so klein sind die Menschen und so umwerfend ist die Landschaft in den Fotografien von Ruben Brulat. Die winzigen nackten Körper, die sich so hingebungsvoll an Felsen oder Blätter schmiegen, sind leicht zu übersehen. Im Angesicht der Natur bin ich nichts, scheinen sie zu sagen, denn ihre Winzigkeit steigert die Großartigkeit der Umgebung.
Das Erstaunliche ist: Ruben Brulat kennt diese Menschen kaum. Er hat sie zufällig auf seinen Wanderungen getroffen. Seit 2011 fotografiert der Franzose unter dem Titel „Paths“ Reisebekanntschaften, die spontan für ihn nackt posieren. Die Idee dazu hatte er vor vier Jahren auf einer Reise in Island: Plötzlich habe er den Drang verspürt, sich nackt zwischen die Felsen zu legen, erzählt er. Anschließend, fotografierte er sich ohne Kleidung an allen möglichen Orten, ob im tiefen Schnee der Alpen oder nachts in einem Pariser Büroviertel. Das Gefühl – eine Mischung aus Adrenalinschub und Verletzbarkeit – sei so umwerfend, erzählt der Künstler, dass er es mit anderen teilen wollte.
Sein erstes Modell traf er in Patagonien, als er auf der Ruta 40 Richtung Anden trampte und eine alte Ente anhielt, in der ein spanischer Abenteurer namens Jorge saß. Tagelang fuhren sie durch die Gegend, bis Brulat sich zu fragen traute – Jorge machte mit. Kurz darauf begab sich Brulat mit Fotoausrüstung auf eine 14-monatige Reise von Europa nach Asien, fuhr durch Irak, Afghanistan, Tibet bis in die Mongolei. Er wollte nichts forcieren, alles sollte sich wie von selbst fügen. Wenn er aber Menschen träfe, die bereit wären, sich der Natur und seiner Kamera auszuliefern, wenn die Landschaft großartig und das Licht perfekt wäre, dann und nur dann würde er fotografieren.
Das Konzept ging auf: Brulats Bilder zeigen Nackte in der Wüste Gobi oder im Himalaya – Menschen, die mit der Landschaft zu verschmelzen scheinen –, ohne Hinweise auf ihren Status oder ihre Herkunft. Selbst im Iran, wo öffentliche Nacktheit ein Tabu ist, fand Brulat einen jungen Mann, der sich vor der Kamera auszog.
Brulats Reise ist noch lange nicht zu Ende. Er will auch künftig mit der Kamera unbekanntes Terrain erkunden.
Macht euch nackig!
A conversation with ‘Die Zeit’
with Sandra Danicke
- DIE ZEIT : Where do you come from?
Ruben Brulat : I come from a tiny isolated town in south of france, where i was raised in the the vineyards, there was always different people around the house passing by for a few days or months, i like to think that i come from many places.
- Where do live right now?
Right now i have a very nomadic lifestyle, three months in Barcelona, time to finish the project and enjoy our very privileged level of life in Europe.
- When did you start your peregrination and why?
After going for a month in india, a few in Patagonia, and a few in Nepal, the idea grew that i wanted to go for a long and unstopped journey, a romantic idea, of an aestestic travel without breaks of an flight, foots on the ground, the first idea was leaving from Gare de Lyon, Paris, and go East, to Beijing, the travel did the rest and brought me a journey that i could not have dreamt of. A long time traveling, away from known lands, driven by the unknown of all these fantasmatic places, like Iran, or the ‘stans’ countries (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, etc…), cultures, stories from the past, heard in childhood, from my parents, from discussions, or from history books. The East, with all its fantasies, and unknown.
- When did the idea for the photo-project come up? During your journey or before? (or was it the reason for the journey?)
It came after my first trip, in india, were i realized that i wanted to see and share this experience of giving yourself away to nature, the body against the earth’s bare skin.
- What kind of expectations did you have?
Only that i should not have any, of course, the idea started with letting things happen, i would not push any fate to get the pictures, it would happen by itself, meeting some people, sometime, if they would be willing to giving themselves away, if there was the striking landscape, and if there would be a way to go there, and if the light was right, then it would happen, if not, the path will go on. Because of all the ‘if’ i would be scared, but also incredibly excited by the possibility of making the photographs. The unknown was to be surrounding me at most time. And it felt good.
- Wasn’t there any person that refused to be photographed?
I guess you only asked them, when you felt a certain degree of confidence.
Nobody refused, because i wouldn’t ask in the first place, i wouldn’t say i was taking photographs, wandering and after sometimes few hours sometimes a few days past the first meeting i would give a few words, if i felt confident that it might happen with this person, handing the book after they usually asked details, some getting surprised and most thinking in the first place that the nude photos would be up close.
- Who was the first person you asked to pose naked in the landscape, where was it, and how did she/he react?
It was early january 2011,
I was hitch-hiking on ruta 40 heading south along the Andes, it was the end of the day, the day was filled with blue and grey clouds, there were moving fast because of that constant patagonian wind, from far i saw an orange car coming, i realized it was a 2cv, spanish plates, ‘How cool’ i thought, i thumbed it up, the guy stopped. Dreadlocks to the waist, Jorge Sierra, looked at me, ‘Hop on’, the car was full of crazy objects, souvenirs of a time imprinted in the mind, things and memories, that i would learn value of in the coming years of travel, we were on for a few thousand kilometers, driving carefully with this car from the 60’s, Jorge left Galicia three years ago driving on land only.
After days through the unforgiving elements of the ruta 40, the windy days, the storms, the bare and empty lands of Patagonia, populated only by guanacos, and few magnificent horsemen.
The power and strength of the nature, surrounding the road we were driving, frightened he would refuse, in my mind Jorge was important already, he was such an adventurer, an intrepid traveller, he was fascinating, i asked him very slowly and carefully about the idea to participate in the project. He was surprised, afraid a little, at first thinking that it was maybe very intimate photographs, explaining him that the scenes are from far, that he would be on his own, the atmosphere was somehow intense, there was fears and attractions. I showed him the book later on, reassured, we talked a little more, i told him how simple it was, that the picture will only happen if it was meant to happen, if not we would continue on our paths, he said yes, that he wanted to be part of the adventure, maybe, if it happens. Fears left us both. To be replaced by another, i asked myself ‘will it happen?’.
A few days later, every ‘if’ were coming together, i told him ‘all-right it is now’, we walked up in silence, i felt excited and impatient, stroked by the scene we stopped. Jorge laid his body along the lands filled with half dying trees with branches alive and others fixed in time, that covers patagonia, there were greens, blues, greys, and yellows, the time felt suspended, emotions were strong, and not forgettable.
After sharing a path for a while, Jorge left a few days later, he kept the travel for two more years and is now back in Galicia. The picture itself in the end didn’t make it to the serie ‘Paths’ but Jorge, and what we lived and shared together surely did.
- I understood that you started from Gare de Lyon. Where did the first train take you to?
After almost missing it i hopped on the train, heading south in the countryside were i was raised and my parents live, the next day at 5:05 AM i looked at my dad moving by the window through the rusted wagon leading to Venice, the first stop, and all its travel stories, i was leaving towards the unknown, places and things i wouldn’t have imagined.. It was a mix of fear, excitement, that brought me happiness, time was fleeing.
- How did you move from place to place? How did you find your route? By accident? Careful planning?
By land only, i would use the means of transport available from trains to trucks to donkey, and walks… Ideas, about Saint-Sophia looking over the Bosphorus, the Ararat, Persepolis or Samarkand, the Hindu Kush, Tibet, or gardens of Kyoto, the Taïga or the endless steppes of Mongolia, we all have ideas i guess, with no expectations but the dreamy ones, the route made itself.
- What kind of luggage did you have to carry? What kind of equipment?
I had a naively big bag when i left, full of useless things, and useful things, arriving in China i kept the 4x5 (large format camera) and a few lenses, the films, and a tripod, on top a few artifacts, antiques, tissues and other things that i found on the way, linked to memories of a time that would be with me, somehow. Changing from time to time depending on temperatures, i would send some home, clothes bought along the way, one pant, two warm sweaters, a pair of shoes, a few underwear, and a jacket, a warm blanket in case of cold sleeping places, all packed tightly in a canvas bag found in an Iraqi Kurdish Bazar. Nothing more than necessary, enough for everything.
- Where did you sleep?
From Iran to Indonesia, people is wonderful, opening you their home anytime they can, giving a bit of food even if they can’t, sometime you sleep in their home, sometime in a guest house were travelers pass by, sometime it is in a train station waiting to go some other place. There is always a place to sleep in. Wonderful.
- Have you been on your own most of the time?
There is always some people, mostly natives, but also travelers. Carpet makers of Shiraz, or Nomads from Yushu, Fisherman in lake Toba, or truck drivers in Vanino, people with their stories, their visible and invisible wounds, their beauty. Fascinating.
- Why did you decide to change the environment and photograph people in landscapes? Concerning "paths",
After the two series, ‘Primates’ and ‘Immaculate’, i seaked another challenge, another intensity. It felt comfortable to photograph myself again, of course if the urge of it comes back i would do it again, It was late 2010 and i was in India, meeting travelers, and i suddenly asked them if they would, embrace the surrounding for a while, naked, that lead to many conversations and debate, with people i would share friendship for a while, there was some fear, some surprise, and of course many questions.
With the help of the tiny book i carried, it lead to more questions but also to some answers, that it was from far away. Intrigued, but also excited, we would go on traveling, sharing all experiences. Rides, hikes.. Scared it wouldn’t no happen, there was this ‘maybe’, until the place fell on us, with beauty, so much of it that you would feel strong. We would wait for the light, and she, he or they after the decision, of giving themselves away, ran, walked or climbed and lay slowly their body, against the elements. Intensity.
- What kind of people did you meet and photograph? Only traveller? Or natives as well?
Natives and travelers, all sharing a path for a while, before then often saying goodbye to each other for ever, this is one of the encounters..
We would walk for a while, starting in the hills a few hours drive from Kathmandu, this is were i met Clinton, Yaïr and Noah, we decided to group to climb up for the coming days, walking in the low parts of the trail leading behind the Annapurna range, the weather is heavy and often warm. After a few days, i hinted them the book, and we started to talk about the project, Clinton was up for it, very straight forward, a few days later we would do ‘Mouvement’ near Manang. Yaïr in the other end, an Israeli, wasn’t at all keen about the idea, repulsed by it, he just said no, and that he didn’t understood why i was doing this, and it was of no use for him to participate. The smells of the snow, the suspended bridges, and praying wheels after a few days of extra walk, and quite a bit of effort, we arrived at the Tilicho lake, massive, under a high face leading up to 8000m, the lake is above 5000m, and up there the air is thin, it is intense. After spotting a magnificent nature scene, with seracs falling into the frozen part of the lake, i felt this urge, i turned to Yaïr and told him ‘For the picture, it is now’ and after ten days of walks up in the Annapurna range, he said ‘Yes’ his mindset had somehow changed, we went down hill to the seracs, and for a few minutes he laid in the harsh snow bare body against this nature in all strength surrounding us. Timeless. Beautiful.
- From when until when was your journey?
By land it started in the end of July 2011 and i came home in October 2012, but i travelled to Patagonia / india / nepal the year before that to start the with the idea and do a few try, when i was set, i left for the long journey.
- Did you have a lot of problems communicating with the people you met. Do you speak a lot of languages? Or did they all speak english or french?
You would always learn a few worlds, if you are lucky some people might speak english, if not there is the universal sign language, worst case when you need to be really clear, pen and paper and a little drawing. But we somehow all understand each other.
- Are you still 26?
I am 24
- Since when do you work with photographs?
I started taking pictures late january 2008.
- When do you consider a picture to be perfect?
When viscerally you feel it is right. If that feeling is not there, i would not take the picture.
- As far as I know, you started these kind of pictures with self-portraits. Why did you chose to picture others?
There was a point were i felt i had to share that incredible experience, picture others doesn’t mean i will not picture my body anymore, but on this journey i wanted to share these feelings, this intense communion with the surroundings. All senses at the edge.
- Why are the bodies in the pictures so small?
It has to be a very personal, the distance great, intimate experience with all its intensity, and vulnerability, the body and the nature, the surroundings taking all its power, the body giving the sense of scale, that relationship created only with the distant point of view, this dialogue between the Man and that infinite textured Nature, in all strength taking over, allowing him or her, or them, for while to feel suspended in time.
- Chance and intuition seem to play a huge role in your work, right?
Indeed. The more the unknown the more it is enjoyable, intensity, the more it makes me thankful.
- You have been to some countries where being naked in the public might be a big problem? Has this affected your work?
Arriving in Esfahan (Iran), I met a young man living in the old quarters with his family, we had good times, smooth rides along the river, and after a few days i hinted him the book scared that it might scare him off, but after a day of thinking, i had to swear that i would not tell his name to anybody he came back to me proposing that we would go to the desert, there we might find a spot, we did the photo away from anybody, and it was very intense, very scary, but the photo did not make it to the series after a check of the film once they were on their way to the lab via the Thaï post. The film got lost. It pushed me further in the trip which wasn’t a bad thing. In Iran the fear of getting caught was always there, even if the book was hidden i didn’t want that police or other unknown discover what i was doing in their country. It took a few days to be relaxed and feel safe about all of that. The learning process of the travel. Because in Iran people are great, and in the end i shouldn’t have be afraid.
- Did you hear comments from people passing by?
We were always very remote, but you can’t always be to secure about what is around, it does add in intensity, and for sure give you a proper dose of adrenaline. In Indonesia, we would walk along the Bromo crater it was magnificent, surrounded by the dune ashes, there was smoke coming out of the ground, there was these clouds flirting with us, we went down hill towards dunes that were bare, far from the sight of wanderers that climbed up to admire the strength of Nature. Zandra was ahead, and the camera was set, after almost breaking it because of an unfortunate move, i told her to head to the next dune and lay her body against the ground, she went slowly, laid calmly, and the rain started, one of these moments, were everything comes together.
- Did you ever have serious problems?
Since nobody caught us, nothing serious happened. Travel wise, the world is a pretty safe place.
- How did you communicate with your models? There seems to be a great distance between you and them… What did you tell them?
I take usually two maybe three (film sheets) pictures, i would tell the fellows, the friends, to be calm, to let their mind and body go, laying relaxed were it could have the most visual strength. Sometime of course i would have to tell them a few things, in the case i would come closer, the places were often very quiet.
- Maybe some funny stories ?
We were walking down towards Pokhara, it was June 2011 and the monsoon season came early on the Himalayas, i had met Maxime and Lionel a day back, and we would hike around the rest of the trail. They were both in a month trip, seeking the fresh air of the height, that morning the jungle of Rhododendrons was enveloped with the soft blue fog. It was gorgeous, and after a few hours of mountain stairs uphill, we were going down through the canyon. And there was the spot. Mysterious. The vegetation was surrounding us. Noises. After a slow climb through the vegetation they made it to the spot. Naked, they laid against the leaves, the picture ‘Commencement retrouvé’ was done. It was magical. Standing up they discovered, about fifteen leeches each, sucking their blood, this time the insects also enjoyed.
- What will you do next?
I want to walk for a while in some place were i will feel in unknown territory, a place where there will be some people and towns but not to much, where there will be Nature all around.
Wallpaper* Magazine says :
by Nancy Aslop.
For Brulat, photography is about capturing humanity expressing convictions– as was evidenced in Immaculate and Primates, his series of images of a business area and the relationship between Human beings and their environment by day and by night, using his naked body to create those powerful scene. Brulat says “I want to understand why people, groups and societies behave the way they do.”
“What shocked me with Immaculate was that this neighborhood lived just for a system, and when at night the system stops, when there is no need to activate it, it simply dies, a system created by Humans, sustained by Humans leave absolutely no love, no happiness, no sadness. No place to any kind of living.
I am fascinated by places where the beauty of Human beings has gone.”
It makes sense then that Brulat focused his attentions on a series of photographs about the Human in the environment, depicting ‘the vulnerability and the smallness of our species.’ Showing a small figure facing the threats of an hostile environment. In ten years time, he hopes to have brought both happiness and sadness to people via his work, but most of all hopes that not all his expectations will come to fruition.
‘Otherwise, in a way, it will be really boring!’
And that’s one adjective we would not associate with Brulat.”
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