Philippe BAZIN . "The circle closes up. The trend is to care for man in every way . From his birth to his death, society has created structures which take everyone in hand. The centre for old bedridden invalids is the hospital dumping ground where all those who are weak, old and have failed are sent. Actually they are the victims of social exclusion. This may account for the conditions they are made to live in . I should like everyone to try and imagine these people in their beds : they do not speak, they do not move, they stare for hours on end at a bare wall three meters from their eyes, a wall which must haunt them. Everyone should experiment this : stare at a wall for hours, without moving, without speaking. And this goes on, every day, every morning, every hour. Every day, every month, all the year round . It is emptiness, absolute emptiness on the brink of the grave."
Medicine thesis, Nantes, March 1983. Published in Impact Médecin in December 1985 and in Clichés n° 35 in May 1987.
Robert PUJADE : " Every portrait by Philippe Bazin is a special plastic moment when what is informal changes life into matter, as if a soul let go the grip by which it transmutes flesh into a face, or a mask into a gaze."
Artension, December 1987, Lyon.
Bernard LAMARCHE-VADEL : " From the infant to the old man, that is to say from the water we come from to the tombstone we are going to, what they are, we virtually are , because alive we are carried along by the continuous gnawing bite of death. As you can tell, the only necessary impact of these photographies,on the whole, is to induce you to contemplate, to go inside these faces, facing them implacably in this so subtle a space between decline and the communal grave of oblivion".
"faces", Ecole nationale de la Santé Publique/Editions de la Différence, Rennes 1990
Régis DURAND : " A surprising career is Philippe BAZIN's, a doctor who started taking photographs of his patients in these old people's homes, a disgrace to our society, in order to give them back their faces, their identities, self-consciousness. They are close up shot faces , with no narrative nor voyeuristic exploitation. These photographs are greatly upsetting, by being strictly uncompromising and requiring the same in return."
Artpress, février 1991
Jean-Marc HUITOREL : " These photographs belong to the wildest humankind, howling for being on the margins of silence ; humankind made of phlegm and hairs. In this sense, these photographs are obscene... These images exude humanism which defies finer feelings ; the involuntary grimaces are indeed horrible, even nearly unbearable, but you must admit at the same time they can make you laugh a not at all inhuman laugh."
Danse macabre, FRAC Basse-Normandie/Le Triangle, Caen 1993.
Thierry RASPAIL et Thierry PRAT: " The forced immobility of the sick body, its being invisible, socially mute somewhat reminds you of the empiric and well-thought out means to control the body which Michel Foucault found out have been set up since the classical age. These multiple processes of classification and discrimination often necessary to meet present requirements have become school, then army and hospital standards. People dying anonymously in old people's homes, faces so soon blotted out from individual or collective memory are due to this "political anatomy" of the body.
Collection 1991, musée d'Art Contemporain de lyon, 1994.
Thierry de DUVE : " Philippe Bazin 's artistic world is the human face, and if you can , in spite of everything, appropriate the face, it is precisely in as much as it is stared at, considered as belonging to the world ignored by the photographer.. Philippe Bazin's aesthetic world is" the other", unique and face to face, the other one I am addressing..."
Adolescents, Le Channel/William Blake and Co, Calais 1995.
Raymond BALAU : "The way Philippe Bazin takes his photographs is the way he is : you can see in a flash, but you look with your whole body, with your own unique being."
A+Architecture, octobre 1996, Bruxelles.
Phiippe ARBAÏZAR : " Philippe Bazin approaches people in their institutions. He does not portray a generation or an age group. This vast continuum brings these people closer to each other in order to remind us they make a community. The portrait is not so much the relation established between the photographer and a particular person as the attempt to show humankind. Perhaps the portrait is the same and only face bearing the marks of time and breathing out an idea of mankind. There is something radical in this work ; it questions the portrait, its roots, what makes it be a portrait. It is prompted by metaphysical ambition."
Portaits, singulier pluriel, Hazan/Bibliothèque nationale de France. Paris 1997.
Christiane VOLLAIRE : " With the pictures of new born babies in which social distinction is deliberately reduced to the lack of differentiation, the lack of social difference is actually refuted by the irruption of distinction, of what intrinsically belongs to each of us. If Philippe Bazin's photographs are humanist, they are so not in the insipid meaning of the word ( that of benign philanthropy reinforcing taboos) but in its crudest meaning : that of an obstinate questioning of our essential, natural, cultural relationship with the violence of the world , of the way we react facing it, as the original strength of resistance has developed our personality. "
nés, Editions méréal/Idem+Arts, Paris et Maubeuge 1999.
Jacques RANCIERE : (about Thierry de Duve's exhibition "Voici" in Brussels in 2000)... " This capacity of incarnation by the very fact of showing could also be found in Donald Judd's parallelepipeds or in East German Joseph Beuys' display of packs of butter, or in Philippe Bazin's series of a baby's photographs , or in Marcel Broodthaers' documents of the fictitious Museum."
Malaise dans l'esthétique, Galilée, Paris 2004.
Dominique BAQUE : " Philippe Bazin has been constantly tracking out the face enigma ....And we are abruptly invited to the same questioning : when and how is there a face,what relationship may I have with the face, particularly when it has become for me nothing but Otherness...Philippe Bazin is definitely one of today's great portraitists..."
La Photographie Plasticienne, l'Extrême Contemporain, Editions du Regard, Paris 2004.