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France – Arles

This latest edition of the Rencontres de la photographie offered us a rich and eclectic selection of images in response to the powerful theme of “A State of Consciousness”. As Christoph Wiesner, director of the Rencontres d’Arles, points out, the photographers, artists, and curators are giving us an extremely acute insight into the transformations we are undergoing.

After sharing with you, in our previous issue, the major exhibitions to be discovered, here are a few moments of emotion experienced during the Press Week of this 54th edition.



One of the most fascinating photographic artists of the 20th century reveals his vision of the world through a selection of mostly unpublished photographs, drawings and paintings.

The gleaner of beauty, who preferred to immortalise raindrops on a window pane rather than a celebrity for the front cover of a fashion magazine, captured a part of the world that was often ignored or simply looked at the wrong way. Each of his photographs delivers a message, a story, a slice of life… Perfectly mastered framing, black & white of intense depth, and suddenly a burst of colour, piercing through, vivid and saturated, literally jostles the viewer. The exhibition is accompanied by a film about the artist in his small New York studio. We see an unaware genius who became famous at the age of 85. Between ambush humour and mumbled phrases, Saul Leiter speaks to us with simplicity, of love, beauty and richness… of spirit. 

Palais de l’Archevêché

Carrie Mae Weems 

The Shape of Things 

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© Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of work combining photography, text, sound, digital images, installation and video. Through her work, the artist questions family relationships, racial and cultural identities, sexism, social class, political systems, and the impact and disparity of power relations. 

The video installation “The Shape of Things” is projected onto a curved wall, offering visitors a totally immersive experience. Large footstools placed in the centre of the installation immediately immerse participants in the artist’s universe, provoking a real letting go and very particular sensory emotions.

The process was inspired by a nineteenth-century device known as proto-cinema, which involved projecting murals continuously onto the walls of a circular building, giving a 360-degree view. The 7-chapter film is a poetic evocation of what Carrie Mae Weems sees as a contemporary civil war.

Using video archives, photos of her earlier work and more recent creations, Carrie Mae Weems plunges us into an America where white supremacy, in full ascendancy, clashes with anti-racist activists and the Black Lives movement, between immigration crises, protests, police and institutional violence. Intense images that shakeup and question our vision of today’s world.

La Mécanique générale

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© Andréa Cenetiempo pour Christian Dior Parfums

This exhibition showcases the work of twelve artists from the world’s most prestigious art and photography schools. Based on the theme “Face to face”, each of the students selected unveils a series of photographs showing the unique way in which they look at the world.

Among the 12 talents, we were intrigued by the work of artist Jermine Shua, winner of the Jury’s Special Mention, and her video concept that looks like an exercise in mental psychology. 
We were bowled over by the images and video “Baker-Miller Pink” by Kyle Keese, which plunge us into the world of a playful cabaret between poetry and strangeness.

We were moved by the photographs taken by artist Inès Tanoira, and her work on grief and family.
Using her own images gleaned over time, the artist tells us a story of memory and memories transformed by the sudden death of her father. 

Jennifer McLain’s colourful and intriguing photographs, with their cinematic overtones, amuse us. In an eighties world of saturated colours, the artist confuses our vision of the world.

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© Andréa Cenetiempo pour Christian Dior Parfums

We were drawn in by the images of artist Iris Millot, winner of the Prix Dior de la Photographie, whose images, oscillating between poetry and accuracy, moved us. A series of images imbued with melancholy and nostalgia, about the passage of time, disappearance, solitude and the traces left behind. 

Grande Halle de LUMA Arles
Parc des Ateliers

Mélissa Burckel

From 3 July to 24 September