First Person Shooter In the Virtual World: The Work of Thibault Brunet

Thibault Brunet
Thibault Brunet
Pvt. Casey from the series First Person Shooter, 2009

Since 2007 Thibault Brunet has chronicled war-torn landscapes and images of beleaguered soldiers all without leaving the comfort of his home in Lille, France. The artist began documenting the virtual world of video games like “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” but instead of photographing the action in the game, we only see the backdrop in which the player moves. “These pictures were taken over the course of my walks in these virtual universes,” Brunet says. “The slow motion of my walks led me to explore the spaces that are usually forgotten by players — the outskirts of barren and industrialized areas.”

The photographs are not traditional images made with a camera, but screen shots of computer renderings that capture landscapes and portraits. When the images are on display in a gallery setting, he frames the work and shows them within thick white mattes that art photographers have used since the inception of the medium, furthering our assumptions and expectations about seeing art photography.

Thibault Brunet

Instillation view from Regeneration 2 at Aperture's Gallery in New York City. Thibault Brunet's work from Vice City, 2008, center.

“These games are inspired by American popular, historical and political culture. They involve getting through missions — murder, blackmail, theft and escape, enemy liquidation, bombing or even the occupation of territories such as Afghanistan. I chose to explore these games against the natural will of my avatars, the one that the usual player would use. I chose to do it as a photographer.”

When viewed together the photographs raise questions about escapism and society’s consumption of violent imagery as entertainment. The images are a work in progress and featured in Aperture’s new book Regeneration 2: Tomorrows Photographers Today.

Related Topics: , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

U Ku Tha La, 38, head monk at Nang Mal Khon Phoe Pyar Monastery. Kaw Ku Village, Kayah State.

Transforming Lives in Burma, One Solar Panel at a Time

In Burma, where only a quarter of the population has access to electricity, solar panels can change lives, as Spanish photographer Ruben Salgado Escudero found out

Read More
Diana Walker—Contour by Getty Images for TIME

An Intimate Portrait of Hillary Clinton in Photographs

LOVED ONE LOST:NAME: Jabril BradleyAGE: 20DOB: 10/6/1990SEX: MaleDATE OF DEATH: 9/1/2011TIME: After MidnightLOCATION: 9th st and Ave of the States, Chester, PACIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO MURDER: Bradley was riding his bike home from a friend’s house on the east side of Chester, September 1, 2011, when an unknown gunman opened fire. He was struck in the back once and continued to ride his bike home. A number of blocks later he collapsed to the ground from blood loss. He bled to death on the street. Bradley’s family claim that he was shot because of mistaken identity. According to his mother, Bradley was supposed to still be in prison. He was serving a sentence for possession of a controlled substance and was allegedly released before his time was up. Within weeks of his murder, the FBI came looking for Bradley at his mothers house, claiming that he got released by mistake. IN PHOTOGRAPH:NAME OF FAMILY MEMBERS: Sister to Jabril Bradley: Danita Harris, 30.Son to Danita Harris: Jah’lil Harris, 3.

Photojournalism Daily: Oct. 23, 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,641 other followers