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Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Antoine d’Agata: Diagonale du vide

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Antoine d’Agata

Diagonale du vide

Hardcover, 80 pages

PDF, 80 pages

Empty Diagonal

Signed edition

80-page, 28 x 21,5 cm format newsprint publication

with a text by Mehdi Belhaj Kacem

in a box with signed print of

Haute-Vienne. Croisière roundabout. 2019.

Archival Pigment Print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308g,  

19.5 x 26 cm — 100 / 15 HC / 15 AP



The “Empty Diagonal” is a corridor that runs through France, from the Southwest to the Northeast. It is a sparsely settled, structurally poor area; the grey-brown underbelly of the centralized state that is dominated by its shining capital, Paris.


Internationally renowned photographer Antoine d’Agata and Tunisian-French philosopher Mehdi Belhaj Kacem travelled along the trajectory through abandoned towns and toxic industrial zones. In gloomy hotel rooms, and in front of bricked-up windows, they faced the desolate void, generating sober analysis.


Along the national roads, they encountered recurring outposts and scattered groups of Yellow Vests, as well as battalions of police guarding the president on his democracy tour. Their journey was tantamount to the analysis of a damaged psyche, of a country as real as it is ghostly, whose name is not only France, whose face now increasingly bears the monotone features of the West, emptied by neoliberalism.


The unsigned 80-page newsprint publication is part of DIAPHANES Magazine 6/7.

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Mehdi Belhaj Kacem

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem

is a Tunisian-French author and philosopher. He wrote his first novel Cancer at the age of 20. Before the appearance of his second novel, 1993, he turned his attention to philosophy, and in recent years has published numerous controversial essays, most recently Dieu : La mémoire, la techno- science et le Mal (2017), Artaud et la théorie du complot (2015). He and Jean-Luc Nancy are the editors of new the DIAPHANES series ANARCHIES.

Antoine d’Agata

Born in Marseilles, Antoine d’Agata left France in 1983 and travelled overseas for the next ten years. Finding himself in New York in 1990, he pursued an interest in photography by taking courses at the International Center of Photography, where his teachers included Larry Clark and Nan Goldin. His first books of photographs, De Mala Muerte, and Mala Noche, were published in 1998, and the following year Galerie Vu began distributing his work. In 2001, he published Hometown and won the Niépce Prize for young photographers. He continued to publish regularly: Vortex and Insomnia appeared in 2003, accompanying his exhibition 1001 Nuits in Paris, followed by Stigma (2004), Manifeste (2005), Psychogéographie (2005), Ice (2011), Position(s) (2012), Antibodies (2014), Fukushima (2015), Index (2015), Lilith (2017), and Self-Portraits: 1987–2017 (2017) In 2004 d’Agata joined Magnum Photos and in the same year, shot his first short film, Le Ventre du Monde (The World’s Belly); this experiment led to his long feature film Aka Ana, shot in 2006 in Tokyo. In 2012 his film Atlas was released. His recent film is White Noise (240 min., 2019). His work has been shown in exhibitions all over the world: Antoine d’Agata: Anticorps, Fotomuseum Den Haag, 2012, Le Bal, Paris, 2013; Spazio Forma, Milan, 2013; Atsukobarouh, Tokyo, 2015. His recent solo exhibition Self Portraits and Night Journeys, was shown at Magnum Print Room, London, 2018. Since 2005 Antoine d’Agata has had no settled place of residence but has worked around the world. Until today he published 54 books.