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Les Rencontres d’Arles, an essential event for photography in France and abroad

In 2021, the 52th edition of the photo festival will stretch from July 4 until September 26 making up for last year’s absence due to the pandemic.


Christoph Wiesner, the newly installed director of the festival, backed by deputy director Aurélie de Lanlay, has chosen to emphasize emerging artists, while continuing to reflect social changes in photography, including topics of gender and identity approved by the current minister of culture, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin.


20 Avril 2021 - 21:45
     

Photo featured on Arles poster by SMITH, Untitled, Desideration series, 2000-2021©SMITH, Galeries Les Filles de Calvaire
Photo featured on Arles poster by SMITH, Untitled, Desideration series, 2000-2021©SMITH, Galeries Les Filles de Calvaire

New director’s inspiration

Christoph Wiesner made a poetic declaration , imbued with hope about this year’s festival which he regards as a year of transition : “Photography continues to emit light signals, opening up spaces for new methods of resistance. Arles in midsummer will be like a constellation of fireflies, made up of a thousand lights illuminating the diversity of regards, polyphony of stories, and symbolizing the survival of hope and consciousness-raising by means of the image.”

It is essential for Wiesner to be able to present shows that are feasible during the transition which includes half of last year’s choice of shows which did not take place. Many habitual venues cannot be used due to problems regarding security of exposed photos and restrictions of space between visitors, one visitor for 10sqm with a strict system of prereservation. The majority of the shows will be concentrated in the center of town, exceptions being made for the School of Photography (ENSP) and the Luma foundation, while some will be displayed outside, weather permitting. These reasons made it imperative that the festival take place over a longer period of time.
 

Masculanities, Rotimi-Fani Kayoda, Untitled, 1965©Rotimi-Fani Kayoda
Masculanities, Rotimi-Fani Kayoda, Untitled, 1965©Rotimi-Fani Kayoda

More compact but still coherent program

The program is thus more compact but still coherent, focusing on social problems, many female photographers and photography from the African continent.

The first part focalizes on the theme of identity with many stimulating collective shows such as that which explores and questions how men are portrayed entitled ‘Masculinités’, including a reflection on our connection to the cosmos by the artist SMITH. The exhibition touches on themes including power, patriarchy, queer identity, racial politics, female pereceptions of men, hypermasculine stereotypes, tenderness and the family, it examines the critical role photography and film have played in the way masculinities are imagined and understood in contemporary culture. It includes the work of French female film-maker Clarisse Hahn about the 'Princes of the Street', the young men from Barbès-Rochechouart, Paris who observe everything that happens around them.

The ‘New Black Vanguard between Art and Fashion’ in the Church of Sainte-Anne presents artists whose vibrant portraits and conceptual images fuses the genres of art and fashion photography reinventing new representations of the black body. In another church, Church of Frères-Precheurs, a selection of eleven projects by young photographers short-listed in the competion to win the Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2021 will be displayed in a show curated by Sonia Voss.
 

The New Black Vanguard, Dana Scruggs, Nyadhour, Elevated California, 2019 © Dana Scruggs
The New Black Vanguard, Dana Scruggs, Nyadhour, Elevated California, 2019 © Dana Scruggs

Other changes and another part of the program

The week for professionals, usually comprising around 19,000 visitors at the beginning of the festival in July has been modified with events happening at a distance. The famous evenings at the ‘théatre antique’ will also take place with reduced capacity.

Under the title ‘Atlas’, a group of exhibitions will display work coming from outside France, while more historical work of photographers such as Charlotte Perriand or Sabine Weiss who represents the French humanist approach to photography can be found in the section ‘Relectures’ spread around the Arles area.
 

Charlotte Perriand, Fernand Léger, photomontage for the Ministery of Agriculture pavilion, International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life, Paris 1937©Charlotte Perriand Archives
Charlotte Perriand, Fernand Léger, photomontage for the Ministery of Agriculture pavilion, International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life, Paris 1937©Charlotte Perriand Archives

Practical information

It is recommended that each guest plan their visit to the festival carefully and make their reservation in advance, while selecting a time slot to visit the busiest venues, entrance 10am until 6.30 pm, exhibitions close at 7pm.
Online ticket sales open at the beginning of June, 2021 at rencontres-arles.com
tel.+33(0)490967606

 

Sabine Weiss, Félix Labisse, painter and decorator, Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1952©Sabine Weiss
Sabine Weiss, Félix Labisse, painter and decorator, Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1952©Sabine Weiss

Festival Offices

34 rue Docteur Fanton, from June 21 to July 3, from 11am to 7pm, then from July 4 to September 26, from 11am to 7pm, every day, weekends and holidays included.
Place de la République, from July 4 to September 26,  from 11am to 7pm every day, weekends and holidays included
 

rencontres-arles.com



Kunang Helmi-Picard
Fatma Kunang Helmi was born in Yogjakarta, Indonesia. Education in Switzerland, Australia and... En savoir plus sur cet auteur




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