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Behind the scenes : Rencontres d’Arles, Technical


Eight thirty a.m., the day starts with a cup of coffee, the exchange of two or three groggy words, aching limbs, a quick smoke. It’s going to be a long day, loads of work. And the heat… Lengths of wood to saw, stretches of wall to paint. A whole exhibition to be installed. The sweltering Provencal heat weighs down on the warehouses at the edge of the city of Arles, not far from the SNCF workshops. Luckily, the refreshing exhibition rooms offer protection.

It’s going to be a long day. There’s a lot to accomplish: woodwork, metalwork, as well as painting; the site is buzzing with the last preparations for the festival. Watch out not to jam the machine. Despite the strict schedule and pending deadlines, our ever-present curiosity is tolerated. A young painter calls out to us: “You’re doing behind-the-scenes coverage? Yeah, that’s cool! There’s always something going on, our job doesn’t get enough exposure! For once a journalist is going to do a piece on us!” The work under way since late April will soon be done; The Columns of the journalists will salute the artists.

We would like to thank the technical teams. They had an enormous task to accomplish, and everything is almost ready. Olivier Fischer, the woodworking team leader, describes the job in detail: “We do the groundwork, in mid-April, as one of the first teams setting up the festival. It’s very labor-intensive, especially in the final weeks. Throughout the opening week, there are still a lot of adjustments to be done. Then we get a break, until it’s time to dismantle the exhibitions in late September.”

Read the full article in French version of L’Oeil de la Photographie.

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