The port city, which displays in beauty its three centuries of existence, thus welcomes until the 16th of June, the 11th edition of the documentary photography festival. The former college Victor Hugo still serving as the place of reception and information, the exhibitions are this year distributed from the railway station to the theater of the sea, on both sides of the Royal frame of the main channel.
If all the exhibitions are, this year, contained in the city center, the theme and the documentary guideline of the festival is always affirmed. Since the first edition, critical looks mixed with the visual appetite of photographers are in order. Decryption of world events and our relationship to the social, political, economic or ecological world are presented to us through looks with different sensitivities but always involved. Non-exhaustive selection:
There are discoveries that we would like to see renewed every second. This impression of simultaneously watching, understanding and appreciating a work, and finding that obvious. The images proposed by Yan Ming are among those. Titled Country of Ambition, here is a stroll through the various Chinese provinces where he shows us with finesse and in the form of soft black and white in square formats, a country in imbalance, which moves away from its past but which has not yet written his future. The right distance of the eye allows us to see unfolding intimate skits, enigmatic, or poetic metaphors. Photographer recognized in his country, yet it is his first exhibition in France; with a book in preparation at Xavier Barral, we bet that we will hear again quickly about Yan Ming.
Far from millennial China, Dubai was Nick Hannes’s playground, from 2016 to 2018. The Belgian photographer highlights the surreal excesses of an urbanization and a capitalist unpacking that borders on the absurd. Without trying to force the line, he skilfully uses framing and humor to show us how a country without identity tries by all means, and there are many, to make one.
His series Garden of Delight is the subject of a book with the esteemed Editions André Frère.
In residence this year, Vanessa Winship was given carte blanche to put her sensitive eyes on the landscapes of the Venice of Languedoc and even a little beyond, the scope of work has been extended. The winner of the Cartier-Bresson 2011 award gives us to see her contemplative images, a black and white that spreads shades of gray on the bodies and decorations. She approaches without approaching too much, seaside, inhabitants and vegetation with always this modest and attentive precision, without reaching the melancholic intensity of She dances on Jackson, her work dedicated to the USA, but with a generous sweetness to which the rippling waves and reeds seem to respond. The exhibition, of which Christian Caujolle brilliantly manages the curatorship, is set with the beautiful setting once again offered by the chapel of the high neighbourhood, and is the object of the beautiful annual edition of the festival by Le bec en l’air.
Many other things to see, in this rich 2019 version of Singular Images, the unpublished Alaska of Ronan Guillou; overexploitation of John Trotter’s Colorado water; the involvement of Jon Lowenstein of Chicago’s South Side as well as Nina Berman, Mathias Depardon, Adriana Lestido, Nicola Lo Calzo, Essarter Editions, George Selley, and Noor.
Singular Images Festival from May 29 to June 16, 2019 in Sète, free admission.
Detailed program and practical information: https://www.imagesingulieres.com/index.php