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Arles 2019 : Bernard Gille – Neuf secondes avec …


It was the time of insouciance, liberties, it was the time of the end of an era, the end of the 30 glorious of economie that propelled the Western world into the technological era. This world is at the point that is turning Western societies into the digital age. In 1983, the computer becomes individual and drives the whole of our analog universe into the virtual space of analysis and digital recomposition. This is a real revolution for a vast majority, but these are just new forms of tools to master for the creative ones.

This is a real revolution for a vast majority, but these are just new forms of tools to master for the creative ones.

In 1983, all these informal and “good-natured” meetings of photographers from around the world are in full adolescence (14 years already … we never have time to see the time running out). This event, which asserts itself and renews itself annually, at the beginning of the summer, already attracted the great photographers, the future great photographers and the whole profession which considers that Arles (and its place of the Forum) is a crossroads still perfect for all their exchange of ideas and know-how.

In the early 1980s, as computer science begins to take hold of the entire process of building a picture, the Rencontres Photographiques d’Arles gradually formalize and regulate themselves to reach that form of paroxysm that we know today. Thus goes the evolution of this group of friends, with an overflowing imagination, towards a mercantile structure of the most symbolic manifestation around photographic works.

It is in this context that the Belgian photographer Bernard Gille, Lucien Clergue’s assistant, very involved in the different faces of the Rencontres of this time, realizes his idea of ​​”shooting the portrait”, in nine seconds, of the various participants present.

It is among his many analogic portraits that have been digitized that I extracted, with accord of author, 25 works that seems to me to represent the full potential of the effervescences of this period of which it is possible to measure the impact and the development. After half a century of existence, it is good to turn back your head, even quickly, to appreciate the way traveled by all these passionate photographers.

Unfortunately, many of these protagonists have left us, as is the case 35 years after being immortalized on Bernard’s works. But their often remarkable works remain preserved for infinity as long as future generations accept to take care of them. It is with the enthusiasm of this forget time that I invite you to come see or review some of the greatest creators working between this two centuries through this creative process reflecting the “anti-formalism” of this period.

Thierry MAINDRAULT, curator.


Bernard Gille : “Neuf secondes avec …”

from 01 July 2019 to 31 October 2019

Hotel Atrium

01 rue Emile Fassin 13200 Arles




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