September 25, 2021

Ten exhibitions to see at the Rencontres d’Arles


Unmissable photography event, the Rencontres d’Arles invest several places in the “Little Rome of the Gauls”. Here is a selection of exhibitions to discover until September 26.

“Masculinities”, the man in all his facets

Everything, everything, everything, you will know everything about the masculine. While photography has traditionally preferred to represent women, and in particular their naked bodies, it is towards men that this immense and very well-thought-out exhibition turns, undoubtedly one of the most successful of the festival.

Through works born after the 1960s, often impertinent and full of humor, the course explores the clichés associated with the masculine: strength, authority, power, courage. And presents the works of artists (often feminist or queer) who have tried to demolish them, by mocking and theatrically deflecting stereotypes like cowboys and muscular sportsmen – like when Catherine Opie sticks mustaches to all her friends.

Catherine Opie : « Bo » from the Being and Having series, 1991.

The violence and the power of men appear crudely in these strong and judiciously chosen works, signed Richard Avedon or Karen Knorr, while others like Bas Jan Ader, who lets his tears flow, chart paths towards a less toxic and oppressive masculinity. .

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“Masculinities, liberation through photography”, General Mechanics, Luma Arles Foundation.

“Desideration”, the cosmic journey of SMITH

SMITH: “Untitled”, “Désidération” series, 2000-2021, courtesy of the Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris.

In the footsteps of astronomers and dreamers of all kinds, such as Athanasius Kircher, German Jesuit and astronomer who lived in the 17th centurye century, the artist SMITH takes his visitors on an initiatory journey, in search of traces of the cosmos in our lives. His immersive installation, based on moving images, soaring sounds, videos, constructions, somewhere between science and fiction, is the result of a long collaborative research around “desideration”: this deep feeling, a mixture of amazement and desire, which seizes everyone at the sight of a starry sky. Deploring in the face of the catastrophic state of the planet, destroyed by human exploitation, this desideration is also a call to invent another way of seeing and living.

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“Desideration, from disaster to desire: towards another spatial mythology”, at Monoprix.

“The New Black Vanguard”, the energy of black bodies

Renell Medrano : « Slick Woods », Brooklyn, 2018.

Exhibition in the form of an explosion of colors and energy, “The New Black Vanguard”, in the city center, shows black, African or diaspora artists who have turned their lenses towards black bodies, long invisible and excluded from the fashion world. First published on social networks, sometimes in journals they created themselves (Campbell Addy and his Niijournal), these photographers gradually conquered the covers of well-known magazines, advertising campaigns or museum walls.

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