The 47th Rencontres d’Arles is an observatory of artistic practices

Saturday, July 9, 2016
The 47th Rencontres d’Arles is an observatory of artistic practices

Photographers lead and guide us through the subjects that drive them. They document, search and investigate. Photographers are investigators. They know their subjects like the backs of their hands. When they go out on the field, they meet, interact and explore. Photographers are explorers.

The 47th Rencontres d’Arles is an observatory of artistic practices

Photographers lead and guide us through the subjects that drive them. They document, search and investigate. Photographers are investigators. They know their subjects like the backs of their hands. When they go out on the field, they meet, interact and explore. Photographers are explorers. Looking for new territories, they bear witness to the world’s vastness, interrogate history and question the medium. They are neither historians nor sociologists, but artists who construct a visual cosmology out of still or moving images, texts or sounds. They take us along on their stories. Photographers are storytellers. 

As always, the 47th Rencontres d’Arles (4.07 - 25.09) is an observatory of artistic practices. Our festival plays an active role in revealing trends and talents. Artists need financial support not just to stage their exhibitions, but beforehand, to help them fund the production of their projects. That is why new creations have a key place in the programme. From awards to residencies, the Rencontres d’Arles now has a veritable arsenal of financial aid for production. This year, we have strengthened it by creating a residency. The first recipient is photographer Stéphanie Solinas.

The Rencontres d’Arles has handed out the Discovery Award for over a decade. The idea is simple: five recognised figures from the art world nominate two artists each; parity has been the rule since 2015. We produce exhibitions for each of them and a jury of professionals votes for the winner, who receives €5 000 to continue his or her work.

Lastly, the Photo Folio Reviews gives awards to five very young artists with promising projects. The festival produces a show of works by the winner. This year, it is an exhibition of photographs by Piero Martinello.

The festival looks kindly upon youth and new practices but is also receptive to the world and sets its sights on other places. This year, talented photographers and curators showcase an unexpected, surprising, funny, pop Africa at the 47th Rencontres. Aida Muluneh, the artistic director of Addis Foto Fest—the Addis Ababa photo festival—joins the Discovery Award nominating team and defends the work of Sarah Waiswa and Nader Adem. Through works by approximately 10 artists, Azu Nwagbogu, director of the LagosPhoto festival, looks into the Nollywood film studios’ influence on African photography. In Maud Sulter's photomontages, however, African and European cutures collide. Lastly, Richard Minier, Thomas Mondo and Madé Taounza tell us the amazing story of Las Maravillas. The Malian music group becomes a wonderful pretext to revisit the swinging ambiance of 1960s Bamako immortalised by the great Malick Sidibé.

More information is here.

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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