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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Les Rencontres d’Arles

Image above: Léon Gimpel, Children and War: The Troops Take a Well-Earned Rest, Enjoying Barley Sugar Distributed by the Photographer, Paris, 5 September 1915. Autochrome. (Courtesy of the Collection Société française de photographie (SFP))

This year’s annual photography festival, Les Rencontres d’Arles, celebrates the city by putting it on stage. It’s the last year director Francois Hebel takes charge of the festival, which he took under his wing in 2001 and transformed into what it is today. So for his last year, he titled it Parade, representing the theatrical performance and idea of spotlighting the city and its emerging photographers.

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David Bailey, Mick Jagger, 1964. (Courtesy of the artist ) 

The exhibitions are of course the main event. Les Rencontres d’Arles I known for displaying almost exclusively new work, giving up and coming artists their big break. The exhibitions involve elaborate stage design, and often take place in historic buildings that are only open to the public during the festival. Some artists displayed include: David Bailey, Vik Muniz, Patrick Swirc, Lucien Clergue, Christian Lacroix, and more.

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Exposition des téléphones Bell – Exposition universelle de New York, Opératrices 1-19, 1939. Par « Press Dept. 140 West St., New York City ». (Avec l’aimable autorisation de Blind Pirate, New York) 

Events include the 10th annual Night of the year, where festival attendees can stroll through the boulevard des Lices and see photographic works presented on fourteen screens, a symposium, photography auction, and photography nights which involve awards, speeches, performances, and films. The events expand the basic exhibits for an in-depth experience of the festival.

The festival goes throughout the summer, ending on September 21st.

 

Text by Ashley Minyard

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