The question of how photographs were disseminated was one of Pierre de Fenoÿl’s main concerns, at a time when few resources were available to photographers to help them share and promote their work. “The paradox of art photography in the 1980s in France is being invisible,” he wrote.
This was before the internet, when people had to rely on exhibitions and publications to get their work “out there.” But Fenoÿl found both unsatisfactory—too scarce, too costly, not mobile enough—to dynamically capture the diversity of contemporary photography. That’s one of the reasons he created, in 1985, La Multiplication Photographique, an association that worked to facilitate publishing artist portfolios, or “album-exhibitions,” using collotype.
Believing that the essence of photography is its reproducibility, Fenoÿl wanted to encourage his contemporaries to stop thinking that only the original print was worth their consideration, but rather as an indispensable intermediary to photographic creation, which is then reproduced. “It’s not the original that ensures dissemination but the reproduction. Photographers should understand that their work isn’t finished when it’s exhibited, but rather when it’s reproduced.” This would make reproduced photographs, “one of the most constructive paths towards the future of photography.”
If we want to pay tribute to the memory of Pierre de Fenoÿl, what’s important is to never forget that, “the joy of photography comes through its reproduction.” The greatness of a photograph can be expressed in many ways, but what matters most is that the photography is seen.
Fonds Pierre de Fenoÿl
27, rue Saint-Dominique
Pierre de Fenoÿl (1945-1987). An imaginary geography
From June 20th to October 31st, 2015
Jeu de Paume – Château de Tours
25 avenue André Malraux
+33 (0)2 47 21 61 95
Tuesday – Sunday 2pm – 6pm
Pierre de Fenoÿl Paysages conjugués
From September 5 to December 31st, 2015
Galerie Le Réverbère
38 Rue Burdeau
Tél. : +33 (0)4 72 00 06 72
« Pierre de Fenoÿl. An imaginary geography »
Texts by Virginie Chardin, Jacques Damez, Peter Galassi.
Éditions Jeu de Paume / Xavier Barral.
240 pages 24 x 28 cm
Price : 50 euros
ISBN : 9782365110730