The festival Rencontres d’Arles is sumptuous and surprising; moreover, it is entering a new stage in its history: the end of an era, the demise of those methodical pieces of paper called prints and the end of academic celebration of photography. “There are hardly any real photographers exhibited any more,” proclaimed yesterday a legendary Parisian figure. Well, yes, photography has exploded, it has become communication, it has replaced words and transformed into image. This transmutation is due as much to Sam Stourdzé’s festival program, which breaks all the conventional codes, as to the profound and drastic change effected by Maja Hoffmann and her Luma Foundation—but we will say more about this on Monday!
All of a sudden, we, the dinosaurs, the old hands, feel a bit lost. Gone are the eternal meetings, incestuous and mortifying, which one had to attend annually since the beginning of the century: such-and-such lunch, a BMW events, a wink from Madame So-and-So, tips from Olympus over tea, dinners with Pictet and after-hour drinks with Picto!
Ironically, to top it all off, it was the Off festival this year that was the more traditional. Lucien, you will love the upcoming years! An experience not to be missed: in the traditional sublime, we have Don McCullin, Peter Mitchell, Yan Morvan and in contemporary installation Systematically Open and William Kentridge at the Luma Foundation, Parfaites Imperfections (Eric Kessels), Nothing But Blue Skies (about 9/11), Eamonn Doyle and Yann Gross.