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Rencontres Photographiques du 10e : Jean-Marie Donat / Thomas Sauvin



Jean-Marie Donat and Thomas Sauvin unite their collections of anonymous photographs to salute monuments around the world that have not seen the success of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, and god knows there are many! Here, there is no allegorical statuary, nor architecture carrying a message turned towards posterity, but a myriad of concrete animals without any ideological pretension. Tigers, bears, sphinxes, sharks, these friendly creatures that dot the cities, parks and gardens of the world seem to have been placed there only for decorative purposes and are aimed more at the passing tourist and the amateur photographer than to the historians. This in no way detracts from their popularity and the creativity of the humble geniuses who designed them, on the contrary! Eye-catching, inauthentic and overdone, these building sculptures tip the unmarked urban space towards a marvelous world where nothing is impossible. It was time to pay homage to them.


Born in Paris in 1962, Jean-Marie Donat is a collector and publisher. He lives and works in Paris where he founded Éditions Innocences in 2015. For more than 35 years he has built a vast collection of vernacular photographs around a strong idea: to give a unique reading of the 20th century. The series of photographs from his collection have been the subject of books in limited editions and in several exhibitions around the world.


Born in 1983, Thomas Sauvin is a French collector, artist and publisher who works between Paris and Beijing. In 2009, he embarked on an extraordinary adventure: collecting abandoned negatives in a recycling area north of Beijing. Thomas searches in bags he buys by the kilo, selects, reworks and categorizes more than half a million anonymous photographs, creating by himself one of the most colossal photographic archive in China-Beijing Silvermine  .


Grilles de l’Espace Niemeyer

Exhibition from November 4 to December 1, 2021

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