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In Memoriam : Bernard Perrine (1938-2023)


Serge Assier informed us yesterday of the death of Bernard Perrine and gave us this photo taken last July.
A few minutes later, Francoise Denoyelle sent us this text.
Bernard Perrine had also been one of the collaborators of The Eye of Photography for the first 3 years of its existence.


It is with great sadness that the office of the Association for the Promotion of Photographic Funds (APFP) learned of the death of its general secretary Bernard Perrine. The Association presents their condolences to his wife Isabelle and their children.

A man of photography, he was a photographer, journalist, teacher. An avant-garde man, he proved to be a pioneer in the teaching of photography. A man of culture, he spoke with equal intelligence and finesse about the latest camera, the latest exhibition, the pioneers, the research in computer science which tomorrow would transform daily life. A man of influence, he actively participated in the promotion of photography among laboratories and major film and then digital photography firms, institutions and the Ministry of Culture.

Photographer, Bernard Perrine documented May 68 and participated in the permanent and daily exhibition that the 30 x 40 club spontaneously organised at the Maison des Jeunes. A photographer, he remained so all his life, his camera always at hand to tell the history of photography at the Compagnons de Lure, at Gens d’Images, at the 30 x 40 club, from 1952 to 1998, at the Rencontres d’Arles from 1973 to 2023, at Visa pour l’Image and in all the festivals which subsequently flourished in France and abroad. His photographs are kept in the funds of the BNF, the Cantini and Réattu museums and in private collections.

With his friend the photographer Jean-Pierre Sudre, he created the photography department of the École supérieure d’Art Graphique in Paris, then the photography center of the Visual Communication department of the École supérieure d’art de Marseille Luminy. He then taught at the universities of Paris I and Paris VIII. Member of the board of directors of the École de Vaugirard which would become the École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière, he provided valuable assistance to the Ministry of National Education and the Chamber of Trades to update the CAP, the BEP, the BTS. Member of the educational committee of the National Photography Foundation, in 1978 he wrote a report on teaching in France and participated in the conference on teaching organized by UNESCO.

A journalist, he worked for the magazine press and publishing on social issues, the world of art and contemporary music. He was the editor-in-chief of Le Photographe magazine for 25 years. A specialist in new information and communication techniques (Ntic), he published La photographie saisie par le cyberspace. In 2023, he prefaced the work of Guy Le Querrec: Michel Portal au fur et à mesure.

In 1973, at the request of Lucien Clergue, he supervised the organization of the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, which he took over as director in 1977. He curated numerous exhibitions and his photographs were exhibited there in 2004 and 2009. He attended the Rencontres until 2023. Following the visit of the Minister of Culture Jack Lang to the Rencontres, he organized in 1981 “Les États généraux de la photographie” under the presidency of Gisèle Freund and, at the request of the National Photography Foundation, the “Photo / Regions” Forum in 1984.

Tireless activist Bernard Perrine defended and promoted photography in multiple institutions, organizations and associations. Member of the AFAA committee for photography, he was the rapporteur for the Villa Medici outside the walls. He chaired the National Photo and Video Press Union and was Vice-President of the Association for the Promotion of Image and also Vice-President of the French Society of Photography, member of its office until 2023 and member of the European Imaging and Sound Association. Elected in 2009, correspondent of the Academy of Fine Arts, he organized a conference on photography in 2015, for the 350th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences.

Secretary general of the Association for the Defense of the Interests of Donors and Rights Holders of Ex Photographic Heritage then of the Association for the Promotion of Photographic Funds from 2012 to 2023, in September-October, he still participated and moderated the tables rounds organized by the APFP. He who built up a leading photographic collection and archives, deployed, there as elsewhere, his energy and his multiple knowledge in the service of photography.

Photography loses one of its knights that carried high its colors high.

Françoise Denoyelle
President of the APFP

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