There are three figures for Paris Photo this year: 144 galleries, 26 publishers and 161 book signings! To this celebration of the image, which opens today, this week you can add a dozen auctions, 147 exhibitions an Arab photography biennial, Photo Saint Germain, the Fotofever salon, plus half a dozen other activities. Perhaps Paris is not a centre of photographic creativity but rather of exhibition and celebration: Yes! So take advantage of it and for those of you who aren’t here, this week L’Oeil de la photographie will show you an orgy of images!
Meeting with Paris Photo’s Florence Bourgeois, Director and Christophe Wiesner, Artistic Director.
How do you consolidate the experience of previous Paris Photos that have made it the premier international fair and the widening of the scope of its possibilities?
Above everything else, we retain a rigorous selection process in the projects that are presented. Our selection committee is extremely meticulous and each presentation is the subject of argumentative debate.
A two-headed management, how do you divide up the scope of activities?
We exchange a lot about the evolution of Paris Photo, the new possibilities that are open to us, be it the evolution of approaches to the medium, the exhibition projects, the treatment of the spaces in the Grand Palais.
Our training and professional experience have given each of us a different and complementary sensitivity.
Christophe knows very well the gallery milieu where he has developed over the last 17 years, and therefore fairs, while beforehand I directed another fair after having had financial and marketing responsibilities in particular at the heart of LVMH.
Christophe’s immediate responsibility is for the quality of the programming, the quality of the display of the work. He is answerable for the artistic quality of the fair.
I’m make sure that the assembly of the fair goes well, that the wheels are well oiled between the gallery owners, the programming and the partners, and I see to it that the promotion of the fair is strong, thanks to an important marketing and communication policy. In this regard we communicate for a complementarity of our points of view, and our views. Our tandem is particularly dynamic.
What are your innovations to integrate the growing place of contemporary art in the enlarged thematic of images in this era which is used more and more by artists,and photographers or non photographers ?
Artists more and more use and work with different mediums, of which photography is one. For example, Susan Lafont, a visual artist, presents an installation in the area of prisms. Esther Woerderhoff’s gallery is presenting works mixing textiles and photography.
This porosity of the fields has given birth to the non-specialist galleries’ fad to have a stake in visual artists working on images.
The boundaries of the image are shifting. What is your vision to go along with the changes whose major impact on photography, its work flow and distribution and the market has become multi-facetted?
Our vision is to exhibit, promote, discuss and open up the medium of photography in all its diversity. We are working with the best galleries and specialist curators on projects, both historical and contemporary Offering visitors an unequalled choice.
Paris puts itself at the top of photography through a large, resounding programme. How do you judge its place and its influence?
Paris is a historic place for photography. The month of November is an anchor point for photography amateur and professional , so the institutions, galleries and foundations programme their exhibitions according to this medium. Paris continues to be the capital of photography, and Paris Photo the greatest international fair.
Interview by Marie de la Fresnaye.
Paris Photo 2015
From 12 to 15 November, 2015
Avenue Winston Churchill
Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 12noon to 8:00pm
Sunday 15 12noon to 7:00pm