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Arles 2013: Diary of Juliette Deschodt


The Rencontres d’Arles ended on a misunderstanding. A picture of Viviane Sassen. Vertical image. Two bodies are hiding themselves between the leaves of a tree. A bag is standing on the middle. From this image, I conclude that, paradoxically, with this “Arles in Black” program I was looking for the color. Surprise, I found it on Guy Bourdin’s exhibition. While people talked about how good his black and white pictures were, I have been more touched by the projection of his color images. Modern photography festivals are too big and it is almost impossible to see everything in one week.

From Lartigue to contemporary artists, we easily get lost on the ateliers. Thus, the Gordon Park’s exhibition still remains one of my favourite. For his fight against racism but also various artists’ portraits as Giacometti or Ingrid Bergman, for instance. Later, the Pieter Hugo’s series will make us smile. Not only because the idea of transforming the pictures by revealing the skin pigmentation, but also because of the email that introduce the exhibition.

As the result, we are facing a series of portraits, which look like zombies. The great Robin Hammond’s exhibition, focus on Zimbabwe is hard to face. Very disturbing. Arles is essentially a photographers and photography lovers’ place. Nothing new really. Some photographers are awarded, new magazines launched and there are various parties.

This is also the occasion to put a face on people that we know almost only, virtually. I will not forget the Camargue area and its mosquitoes. But, Camargue is still beautiful.

Juliette Deschodt

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