The Eye of Photography brings you a selection of iconic covers and archival photographic material from L’Insensé dating from the magazine’s final years of activity. The selection covers three issues filled with fascinating journeys.
L’Insensé: Special Africa issue
According to Jean Loup Pivin, co-founder of Revue Noire, African photography was “a thriving business before it was art.” In 2007, Malick Sidibé, the leading Mali photographer, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. This award was a sign of international recognition of the African photography scene, finally turning the spotlight onto contemporary artists of this vast continent and stimulating new African art dealers, gallery owners, collectors, and sponsors. This issue of L’Insensé aimed to share the enthusiasm of its editors for images rooted in a specific cultural and spiritual context and possessed of imaginative power, attractive vitality, original radiance, and appealing visual beauty.
L’Insensé in Latin America
Like France and Great Britain, Latin America participated in the history of photography from its invention in the first half of the nineteenth century, both through the work of inventors and through the images of talented visitors eager to collect new landscapes, new cultures, and share them with the rest of the world. In this issue, Elisabeth Nora and Vanessa van Zuylen privileged photographers who deploy their creativity in the context of their history in the making: 60 photographers from 9 Latin American countries, starting with Claudia Andujar, a leading figure in Brazilian photography, to the younger generations creating in a somewhat relaxed political climate in the wake of the revolutionary upheavals and traumatizing dictatorships of the twentieth century. Bringing us many surprises, the editors brought together images which, in the words of the great Miguel Rio Branco, “stirred emotions,” as well as, with critical insight, questioned the society, its economy, its history, and its memory. Here photography is an exceptional witness to the fertile melting pot of this inspiring continent.
In line with the brazen success of its economy, the dazzling blossoming of the contemporary photographic scene captured the attention of L’Insensé: photographers who are questioning their position vis-à-vis the irreversible changes in their environment and who are deciphering the society that is both an actor of, and a captive to, this tangible “Korean miracle”. Paradoxical country, paradoxical images, in this 25th anniversary issue of L’Insensé, photographers haunted by their history presented photographs that challenged one another, from pop pictures to fine art images, oscillating between reflection and spontaneity. Theirs is an artistic wave that, like the whole Korea, exudes inspiration and excitement, pulling us into its radically modern orbit.