There’s only one person who didn’t enjoy Arles this year: Jean-Marie Périer. In the company of his dog Daffy, he travelled 300km from the Aveyron to come and see the exhibitions in Arles. But he wasn’t able to see any of them. His dog was forbidden entrance (see his Diary)!
For everyone else, this edition of the festival was an exceptional one (see the Diaries of the team: Jonas Cuénin, Juliette Deschodt, Fanny Lambert and Ericka Weidmann). The only low point came from Yoga photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen and the endless, often insipid, evening screenings.
Another change this year was the increased importance of private sponsors, who have now replaced the curators of yesterday. Wolfgang Tillmans may not be to everyone’s taste, but his retrospective was truly impressive in its, museum-like amplitude. Naturally, there was one flop, a big, beautiful, grandiose one: the Night of the Year. Since being moved from the Roquette, the Night has suffered a Scylla and Charybdis-like fate. This year it was Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom at Salins de Giraud, the Roubaix/Tourcoing of the Camargue. Compared to this event, a village fête would have seemed like an aristocratic reception in an English country house. And the Arte evening was truly the most miserable in the history of the festival: fights broke out over seven Domino’s Pizzas and undrinkable wine. Gomorrah, finally, was in evidence in the form of mosquitos, real ones, with an authentic bite. They all attended the party together. We left five minutes after the screenings started. According to those brave souls who stayed on, we didn’t miss much.
Perhaps you don’t believe us? Well, we got a photo of the windscreen of the taxi that got us there. Look at it! A sort of Pollock of dead mosquitos, impossible to reproduce, even with Photoshop. A final anecdote: during Alisa Resnik’s acceptance speech at the European Publishers Award, the photographer thanked her psychiatrist. Proof that Arles has finally been accepted onto the international art market.