Arles fiftieth birthday is our anniversary too, we the privileged kids who were 20 years old at the time and discovered photography. The 50 years of Arles: It is also the anniversary of contemporary photography that was born then. It is the birth of the photography market with the first sales of Sotheby’s. These times were marked by the births of contemporary news agencies. And the irruption of fine art photography.
A few years earlier we shouted: we are all German Jews. We are and it was even more sublime we all became Arlesiens. It is true that Arles sticks like no other manifestation to contemporary photography. It’s a pretty humbling lesson to note that it derives its legitimacy from both its failures and its successes. What will become of Arles tomorrow, is not our problem! It would even be indecent for us, privileged people of the first hours, to dare to manifest. There is nothing more sinister than nostalgic old people.
They were sublime these fifty years.
Thank you François, Alain, Agnes, Christian, Gilles, Maryse, Sam, Fred and the others. And above all, we send you kisses Lucien!
We will dedicate the next 2 weeks to this anniversary.
The first part will be devoted to the past 50 years through unpublished documents, found or from the archives of the Eye of Photography.
The second to this year’s programming with our selection!