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The Eurazeo collection: fifteen years supporting photography


From the  January 17th to February 25th, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris is showing the winners of the Grand Prix of the investment company, Eurazeo. The exhibition is showing a selection of a bout sixty works from the photographic collection, comprising photographs by Floriane de Lassée, Michael Kenna, Georges Rousse.

Any collection is the fruit of a will and desire. It’s the reason why, in a more or less explicit way, it gives information about those who have established it. While it is obvious that the groups have been put together by individuals, since they are free of fads and haven’t yielded to the temptation of compiling a list of names or become kinds of self-portraits, business collections reveal themselves in a more complex way.

First of all, because they combine the needs, wishes and identities of the structure that wanted them and the views, needs and opportunities of the people who actually constitute and lead them. While the private collection is obedient to the tastes, even the whims, of the owner, the corporate collection is, always, in tension between the image needs of the organisation and the reality of its implementation by individuals.

Eurazeo’s collection doesn’t escape this rule but the original way in which it was set up makes it obviously different. Initially, it was out of a love of the silver-based image to illustrate the generally austere pages of the annual report with creations that did not have anything to do directly with the activity: to bring beauty to pages of figures, graphs and analysis. A great opportunity to acquire original works by some great photographers. Then, the desire to help artists and to produce something was substituted to the mere adequacy of using existing images. In creating a prize and giving support to the winner, not only with the financial award and the exhibition, but also by acquiring some of the works, the company enriched its collection by taking the risks and supporting the creative act more directly. Risk when the implicit contract neither specifies nor identifies any type of individual photograph. And opens the door to a great diversity of approaches that ultimately sum up the state of photography today, from documentary to photomontage, via all the shapes and sizes of visual creation in the contemporary world.

Perhaps it’s that which characterises the Eurazeo collection: its capacity to take on, through a love of photographic creation, a diversity of approaches, perfectly contemporary, echoing the current situation of the still picture.


Christian Caujolle

Today an independent curator, Christian Caujolle was, notably, Director of Photography at the newspaper Libération, created the VU’agency and gallery, and teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière in Paris.



Un photographe pour Eurazeo : Collection et lauréats du Grand Prix Eurazeo
From 17th January to 25th February 2018
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
5/7 Rue de Fourcy
75004 Paris

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