So Far So Close …
Written by Odile Andrieu
Above all, I have a special thought for our friends who had to cancel their events with the risks that this entails, for the best known of the festivals as for the smallest, who have already invested in time and money.
With Stéphane Damant, exhibition curator and specialist in Asian photography, we brought together artists from the Far East and international artists to write this photographic phrase. This sentence constantly repeats the subject in question, the subject as it evolves in the different landscapes it encounters. The Spanish duo Albarran & Cabrera, to be found at the Vendôme museum, remembers the legend of Krishna, who, by opening his mouth, makes his mother discover all the things in the universe. They question reality as we know it and put it to the test of our observations, which can sometimes be biased.
At the Rochambeau merry-go-round, several artists linger on their own perceptions. Maki Umaba takes his twinness into question. With her twin sister, they are Futari (two people in Japanese) and yet the Japanese photographer has been thinking since very young in terms of “us”. Through the lens, she alternates portraits and self-portraits with her sister thanks to which she finds, paradoxically, her own identity. Korean photographer Mi-Yeon, through screen-printed images and washi paper printing, discovers otherness. She says that when she was in elementary school, she realized that her classmates also thought in terms of “I” and were the center of their own world. This photographic and philosophical encounter is directly inspired by the work of philosopher Martin Buber, who, like Mi-Yeon, reflected on “I and Thou” (I and You).
While the latter two take on their identities and perceptions in question, others travel to discover new things. The island of Kyushu is a volcanic region “navigating between radiance and calm”. For photographer Laura Bonnefous, these landscapes reveal our “Faults”, those of men and the Earth. With light and sensitive colors, there are portraits and landscapes of a fragility which makes us reveal our own faults. The faults of the human being also arise in the discovery of death. The Tamagawa spa, photographed by the self-taught Tokyote Tsutomu Yamagata, is located in a mountainous region full of radioactive rocks in northern Japan. As he prepared for the death of his cancer-stricken father, he heard about this valley. Cancer patients come to lie down on this warm floor, not to hope to cure it, but to “prepare for eternal peace”. This valley represents for the Japanese a breach between life and death.
The association of the festival as it has existed for fifteen years and of a theme linked to biodiversity and the living world, “Les Végétales”, as well as the new partner places give rise to CONVERGENCE. Are thus presented at Promenades Photographiques Jean Paul Texier and Cyrus Cornut. Jean Paul Texier’s work is called “Restless World”, and paradoxically, it stages flowers, delicate and immobile. These frozen moments of life remind us of the frantic dance of Isadora Duncan with her chiffon veil.
Cyrus Cornut does not stage nature, and gets lost in the forest. (Lost in the Forest). He is embedded in this setting in which he is a stranger, he is a city man. It testifies to a moving nature, which contorts, chokes and reminds us that we are nothing without it.
With the support of the Tourist Office of Vendôme and of the Center Val de Loire region, the ambition of this project is to make you discover the Vendômois territory and its specific high-end gastronomic, tourist and cultural ranges. I wrote in 2019: “In the race for acceleration, it is essential to slowly return to thought, to reflection, to mature action to save our plural cultures … to take a breath to enjoy life daily, rejoicing in sharing, consciously reflecting on the consequences of our actions … “. It seems to me even more essential today to take the time necessary for solidarity.
General and Artistic Director of the Promenades Photographiques
Promenades Photographiques 2020 – 16th Edition
30 Exhibitions in 10 places
From July to September 2020
Vendôme and surroundings