Publisher Note

A reflection devoted to prison architecture and the best ways to photograph French prisons through the presentation of several of them such as the Mauzac detention center or the Villepinte remand center. The photographer's relations with the administration, his exchanges with the prisoners and their living conditions are among the themes addressed.

Between 2016 and 2018, Maxence Rifflet photographed in seven French prisons in collaboration with prisoners. It was about sharing with them a question about the representation of places of incarceration through a common practice of photography: how to photograph in a surveillance space without doubling it? How to frame without enclosing? To answer these questions, it was necessary to move away from the intention of illustrating confinement, of representing prison in general, to describe specific places, with singular stories and functionings: photographing prisons, rather than the prison.

The establishment of a common practice is at the center of the photographer's approach. Photography here is not only a recording tool, it is the means and the challenge of an interaction. Thus, the architecture of prisons is both the subject of the work and the space in which it is done: it was therefore a question, ultimately, of photographing in prison. Bodies are the measure of these spaces, they activate them, reveal them and sometimes try to resist them.
Accompanied by Le Point du Jour, Maxence Rifflet's work was first developed, with the support of the Culture / Justice system, in five prisons in Normandy: Condé-sur-Sarthe central prison, remand center de Cherbourg, detention center in Caen, remand center in Rouen and detention center in Val-de-Reuil. It continued at the Mauzac detention center (Dordogne) and at the Villepinte remand center (Seine-Saint-Denis); b.w. photos and in color.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Point du Jour, Art Center in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin from June 5, 2022 to October 2, 2022.
The exhibition is co-produced with the Rouen Normandie photographic center, the GwinZegal art center.


Nos prisons

by Maxence Rifflet

Release Place Paris, France
Edition 1st edition
Release Date 2022
Writer: Maxence Rifflet
Artist: Maxence Rifflet
ISBN-13: 9782912132963
Subform Photobook
Topics Architecture, Prisons
Methods Photography
Language French
Format softcover
Dimensions 20.0 × 25.5 cm
Pages 268
Technique Offset