This year was the 50th anniversary of the Arles photography festival, one of the oldest and best photography festivals in the world. In the last few years, I had the chance to visit Arles several times during the festival and have always been impressed both by the selection of works exhibited and the venues, which are always an experience in themselves (old Roman houses / palaces, old train warehouses, supermarket annexes, etc.) Arles is just such a unique and beautiful city that I always enjoy strolling around, from one venue to another.
This year was no exception. If you could not make it this year, here is a chance to see a small selection of what you missed (in no particular order) and of what I personally found interesting:
- La Movida, A Chronicle of Turmoil 1978-1982, a collection of images by Alberto Garcia-Alix, Ouka Leele, Pablo Perez-Minguez and Miguel Trillo from the Madrid of the early 1980s.
- Datazone, by Philippe Chancel, an impressive coverage of the world’s most alarming symptoms of its decline (ecology, economic and social disasters, etc.)
- Home Sweet Home, 1970-2018: The British Home, a political History.
- The House, by the Anonymous Project, a reconstituted house from thousands of amateur slides found and collected by filmmaker Lee Shulman in an attempt to find the meaning of “Home”.
- Free Trade, by Mohamed Bourouissa, a retrospective of some of his earlier projects, including his famous series of portraits of youngsters at Les Halles in Paris.
- Destroyed House, by Marjan Teeuwen, an impressive series of architectural installations made of construction materials (plasterboards, concrete, drywall, wood, bricks, etc.) sorted and reorganized in condemned houses.
- Experimental Relationship, by Pixy Liao, a depiction of a “modern relationship” and the dynamics of gender roles in a couple.
- Cathedral, by Yann Pocreau, an installation recreating the interior of a gothic cathedral (from an old picture) pierced by rays of light.
- Stepping Stone Falls, by Matthew Brandt a multi-layered triptych processed with lead-contaminated water from the Flint River in Michigan, USA.
- Painted Ladies, by Valérie Belin, questioning the relations between photography and painting as media, but also reality vs. fiction.
- Eldorado, by Christian Lutz, a dual view of the luxurious world of casinos, Las Vegas vs. Macao.
- Helen Levitt, a retrospective of her New York street photography.