Zoé Beausire: How can we build trust in documentary photography nowadays?




Zoé Beausire (*1987) is a Swiss photographer living in Berlin. Her work is focused on documentary photography and how telling stories is a way of questioning reality. She published ”Rosette, Mauricette et Roby” with Kominek in 2012 and self-published ”Where the Birds Used to Sing” in 2013.



This residence is for me a great opportunity to increase my curatorial knowledge. It could really give me the opportunity to get experience in a field that I have always wanted to know better and to develop some future projects with the other residents.

How can we build trust in documentary photography nowadays?

Beyond the basic things, like spending a lot of time with the subject and showing them the pictures that you are taking, there is something more subtle, more important.I think the photographer must be aware that his pictures are always also about himself. He is always involved in the process by his choices. Objectivity has never existed in photography and making a documentary is only telling a story. Assuming that a documentary is only showing the point of view of the photographer will also build trust with the viewer. One can agree or disagree with the perception of the photographer but there is no longer a search for universal objectivity.

Another point about the relation between trust and photography seems relevant to me. Photography has always been seen as a witness to reality, an automatic recorder of the real. We still trust in some codes of representation that we recognize as part of our collective imagination.

How do artists nowadays play with those codes and question the photograph as document?
Is sometimes the building of falseness the better way to speak about our reality?