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Pierrevives Media Library : Alain Ernoult : The Sixth Extinction


Finally ! An exhibition that looks like an exhibition. When it shows us photographic works that look like works, optimism returns. And yet, the pessimism of the warning that appears behind each image should limit our enthusiasm.

Quickly, the purpose of this exhibition is to question ourselves about the fate that we wish to reserve to many endangered animal species. After having massacred (voluntarily or innocently, the result is the same) thousands of animals, we discover with amazement that certain species are on the verge of extinction.

The object is noble, but the subjects and especially their masterly photographic representations do not impose themselves on us as tear jerkers. Each image challenges us directly, because each subject in each image literally takes us to task. I really like Olivier de Kesauson’s approach, regarding these photographs by Alain Ernoult: “…it’s not us who look at the animals, it’s the animals looking at us. “. I will add: “and they don’t look at us any which way. “.

Alain is an excellent photographer, all his images are technically very accomplished. The compositions support the message in a refined environment   not to let anything distract the eye during the reflection and the exchange between the onlookers and the work they discover. The equipment is truly under the photographer’s control, even in the most extreme conditions.

Alain is a talented photographer, all meetings with his subjects (very much alive in our case) have the sole purpose of respect and trust. These two pieces of evidence will have the sole objective of recording an image, at the precise moment when the animal will challenge the future contemplators of its portrait. Talent is a complete and precise control of material and human adjustments which will allow the creator this instinctive and precise movement to capture the image, without disturbing the animals.

The result is there, we have all seen very beautiful animal photographs in magazines, fairs or other festivals (often called animal festivals). Certainly, interesting images, sometimes full of anecdotes, more or less moving. In the case of this exhibition, we are beyond emotion. The photographer is the equal of his subjects who impose themselves to show themselves the equals of all the visitors they confront with their unique gaze that only a few excellent photographers know how to capture.

A word to congratulate the Hérault department, which initiated this exhibition, and all the collaborators who were able to create this intimate setting. To allow images to be highlighted while respecting the potential dialogues offered by more than 70 images, all formats combined. A small bonus for the good quality scenography, a little disrupted (as is very common) by lighting requirements that are not very compatible with the presentation layouts chosen.

A real exhibition of real photographs which asks real questions to today’s Man, without creating pseudo anxieties and other morbid attacks.

Thierry Maindrault



domaine départemental
907 rue du Professeur Blayac

from October 6, 2023 until January 27, 1924
Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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