Thursday, 8 July 2010

Recontre Arles 2010

It was a brief visit to Arles this year, but as usual a worthwhile one. After a great day looking at all the shows in the town, the heat was enough to stop anyone in their tracks, but we struggled on.
The highlight of the exhibitions for me were the Ernst Haas and Polaroid shows. Such wonderful colour and compositions. Although some of the images seemed dated with their ideas for viewing now, in context they were groundbreaking at the time.

On Saturday evening the town was filled with hundreds of people parading through in national dress and quite a sight to see, I hope it happens again next year and I have a better camera to capture it fully. The blurred smile of a chap with his fake horse reminded me of a Goya painting, hence my choice.

The lovely portrait of Yvonne De Rosa is holding an issue of Foam Magazine on display in Arles, with Lluís Artús' image from the Beach series.

By far my favourite exhibition experience was the shooting gallery in the SHOOT! EXISTENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition - whereby you have 3 pellets to shoot a target. As each round is fired a camera records a picture of you as once popular in post-war American fun fairs. If you hit the target you are rewarded with a photo and your target. I was a good shot (those archery lessons came in useful after all) and proudly showed off my 'killer' photo.

Then there were the reviews! Wow what a selection. 10 reviews per session, 20 per day so quite a long day. The work varied dramatically in both subject and quality. It is always a great exercise to keep my photography knowledge supple. This year a selection of work was displayed by the reviewers in an exhibition in the new location for the reviews which was much cooler than last year, thank god. Less of a chicken-run setup and more of a personal one-on-one with a large table for each reviewer which helped no end when larger works needed more room to view. I think next year I shall stay much longer and see more work as I really enjoy the process. It is even better when people take your advice and you see the results the following year.

If you missed the opening fortnight never fear, the shows are on till the end of summer, worth a visit if you happen to be in the south of France this year.

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