Every summer since 1970, over the course of more than forty exhibitions at various of the city's exceptional heritage sites, the Rencontres d'Arles has been a major influence in dissiminating the best of world photography and playing the role of a springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talents.  

3 July - 24 September
Arles, Frace

1-2 Roger Ballen at MAISON DES PEINTRES
3-4 Mathieu Pernot at MAISON DES PEINTRES
5-6-7 The Cow and the Orchid at LA CROISIÈRE
8-9  The Spectre of Surrealism at ATELIER DES FORGES
10-11 Masahisa Fukase at PALAIS DE L'ARCHEVÊCHÉ
12 Collaborate foam/kabk/écal at LA BOURSE DU TRAVAIL

"The more we think a country closed, stuck in political and economic crises, the more we find photographers there. They reveal, describe, demonstrate, invent, repair, build, in their own language, that of the image. They decipher the preliminary signs of societies in upheaval. The 48th issue of the Rencontres de la Photographie shares this taste for other places. All across the city of Arles—a city of living legacy which, in the space of a summer, transforms into a wonderful place of welcome for our exhibitions—a trajectory emerges that will lead you from Latin America to Iran, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the Syrian border, from Château Davignon to the trailers of Arles. You’ll go on a snorkeling tour of flooded lands; you’ll go by train across the vast Russian landscape; you’ll pick up the pieces of Lenin in Ukraine; you’ll reflect on Monsanto; you’ll follow the life of a Romani family for twenty years… From the local to the global, this 48th issue will take you to the heart of Colombia, immerse you in a new Spanish generation, introduce you to the sideways glance in Iranian photography—all in a sweeping journey to the heart of busy and complex geopolitics." - SAM STOURDZÉ director of Les Rencontre d'Arles


We spent the opening week of Les Rencontres de la Photographie in the beautiful and sunny Arles. These days are always busy and as usual we struggle trough appointments, exhibitions, friends and many parties!
The decision of the festival to expand the exhibition venues seemed at first something that would have made our week even more complicated but at the end we enjoyed discover new places in Arles.

We loved the exhibitions at MAISON DES PEINTRES, Roger Ballen took over an entire abandoned house with a series of complex installations, a journey into his artistic mind. A very strong exhibition under every point of view! But Mathieu Pernot solo show "The Gorgans" was the real surprise, a long term body of work that follow the life of an Arles based Romani family for twenty years. It was amazing how the exhibition gives an overview on every family member trough the years, telling a piece of the story on each wall.

LA CROISIÈRE hosts a very interesting retrospective on Colombian vernacular photography called "The Cow and the Orchid" curated by Timothy Prus, part of the Latina Section. The exhibition set up is very creative, posters, overlapping, objects (including a jukebox) and videos. The show bring together different strands of vernacular vision to create a layered collage that draws on the diversity of the environment.

At ATELIER DES FORGES we enjoyed "The Spectre of Surrealism" an exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the centre Pompidou.  Surrealism is still alive, even if it sometimes leads its life underground—this is a conclusion we can come to by looking at contemporary photography, or more broadly, photography after 1945. Using the photographic collections at the Centre Pompidou, this exhibition returns to a few of the themes born of the interaction between surrealism and photography. Among the exhibited artists: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Renè Magritte, Peter Fischli et David Weiss, Marcel Duchamp. We especially loved the short movie "Le Coquille et le Clergyman" by Germaine Dulac, made in 1927 the film depicts the lustful, morbid impulses of a clergyman who has fallen under woman's spell. 

In the city center at PALAIS DE L'ARCHEVÊCHÉ you cant miss Masahisa Fukase's retrospective for the first time in Europe. Fukase is widely regarded as one of the most radical and influential photographers of his generation. This presentation considers all aspects of Fukase’s practice from the 1960s onwards, drawing on vintage prints, graphic work, as well as archival magazines and publications, to show the extent of the artist’s working life. Dealing with issues of family, love, friendship, loneliness, mortality and death, activated photographically through performance, self-portraiture, play and comedy, the exhibition establishes Fukase as one of the most innovative and original Japanese artists of the post-war period. 

Outside the official circuit Foam Photography Museum Amsterdam took over LA BOURSE DU TRAVAIL for a week long program and exhibition dedicated to the project "Collaborate foam/kabk/écal" born to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Foam promotes international cooperation and exchange between art schools and initiates a collaboration between photography students of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne and KABK/Royal Academy of Art The Hague. Inside the venue you could also find the collaborative project "Jungle Check" by Cristina de Middel & Kalev Erickson. 

See you next year Arles!