MagnumTime interview with Harry Gruyaert


Harry Gruyaert

Photographer (Member of Magnum Photos since 1981)

“For example, I did my first important work about television (which became the show, TV Shots, and a book published by Steidl in 2007).

Living in London in 1972, I discovered the power of colour television, which was much more important than in the rest of Europe.

I had this incredible tv set with which I could create fascinating colours, just playing with the antenna and the wires.

The structure of the screen (PAL system) was to me much more interesting than what it is now. I discovered what a brain washing machine it could be; pretty chauvinistic and linked to advertising .

I felt you could make a portrait of a country, in this case England, by photographing the BBC and ITV.

So, apparently, when I joined Magnum, I showed the work and some photographers did not get it. I tried nominee status the same year as Abbas, and they told me later they never took on two photographers with such different interests.”

MagnumTime interview in Cairo, Egypt 2012

Simone Salvo