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Pavillon Populaire Montpellier : Devenir. Peter Lindbergh


“It should be the responsibility of modern photographers to liberate women, and ultimately everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.” Peter Lindbergh

Devenir. Peter Lindbergh (Becoming. Peter Lindbergh) pays tribute to the revolutionary vision of one of the most important photographers of our time.

Over the course of his career, Peter Lindbergh elevated fashion photography to an art form, freed women from an oppressive and unrealistic conception of beauty, and offered images centered on being, rather than having or appearing, thus defying the conventions of the time.

Starting from a biographical element, the journey undertaken by the young Lindbergh to “discover himself”, to become himself, the exhibition reveals how this uncompromising quest for authenticity has guided his work throughout his career.

The premise of this exhibition is that Peter Lindbergh was above all an artist. His training as a painter and his interest in conceptual art shine through in his photographs. The quality of their texture evokes the texture of oil paint, his close-up portraits and silhouettes reveal the essence of a sensation (almost always in black and white, preferably out of focus). Through a flow of images and narrative elements, Lindbergh captures the dynamism of existence as experience, often in dialogue with the sacred monsters of the story of photography (such as Lewis Hine or Dorothea Lange, for example, or the New York School of Photography, with whom he shares an expressive and formal freedom), but also cinema (Fritz Lang, Wim Wenders, David Lynch… ).

The notion of ‘Devenir’ (‘Becoming’), which gives its title to this retrospective, reveals the primordial potential of the subject (visible in particular in the sexual ambiguity of some of the models) and reveals the invisible force which animates human beings (who are no longer models, but supermodels), embracing human and feminine complexity against the “terror of youth and perfection”.

This exhibition, which celebrates the man behind the camera, explores the thought behind the aesthetic. We also find Lindbergh’s collaborations with artists such as Pina Bausch and Holly Fisher, or his work on the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti. And finally, a selection of some of Lindbergh’s many interviews to establish, in his own words, the legacy of an artist whose vision, honest in essence, revolutionized the rules of fashion and redefined beauty in our collective imagination.

Tara Londi, curator of the exhibition


Devenir. Peter Lindbergh
June 23 – Sep 25, 2022
Pavillon Populaire Montpellier
Esplanade Charles de Gaulle — 34000 Montpellier



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