EAUX TROUBLES, EAUX CALMES

From June 18th to September 11th, 2016.

Série Paparazzis 2012, <br />© Mazaccio & Drowilal

Série Paparazzis 2012, © Mazaccio & Drowilal

Eaux Troubles, Eaux Calmes is a photo and video exhibition, curated by François Hébel, and presented at the Fondation François Schneider from June 18th to September 11th, 2016.

Water is life’s basic component. Its impurity can be frightening; its absence instigates conflict; its abundance leads to generosity and joy. These contrasts are inherent to its nature. For the artist who, through photography or cinematography, is in search of poetry, water is a challenge, a difficult matter to handle. Once again, we deal in
contrasts: water, snow, fog, waterfall, wave, these aspects are visually too flat, too fluid, too plain, to be food for a visual artist, unless it is to make those visionless pictures of nature that are often lumped under the term “postcard”.

In this exhibition, 12 great photographers and cinematographers who have overcome these difficulties to bring us visual essays where water, liquid, solid, or gaseous, is the central theme. These projects showcase the extraordinary diversity of this ever-so-familiar element, in styles ranging from documentaries to introspections, some graphical, some contemplative, and always with water as their lead actor.

In photography, no subject is considered poor. The most difficult subjects are those who stray from the event or the three dimensional representation, the most demanding are those that deal with the immaterial. These two aspects are gathered here around exceptional artists who take us on a bridge over both quiet and troubled waters.

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Artists :

Philippe Chancel

Philippe Chancel, Fukushima, Fukushima, 2011After years spent chronicling the world of art, the French photographer has been looking for new ways to visually translate various special regions of the world: North Korea, petro-dictatorships, and for this project, the tsunami that hit Japan. All of his projects, whether in book form or exhibits, have been very successful. The photos here are presented with their geo-localisation, to confront the brutality of the facts with the reality of the planetary stakes.

Fukushima, Fukushima, 2011

Lucien Clergue

lucien-clergueIn the 60s, his nude photos in the Camargue were highly successful.They illustrated a celebration of life and the sexual liberation. The cover art of his first books were drawn by Picasso, while the photos illustrated poems by Paul Éluard. He was the founder of the annual photography festival “Les Rencontres d’Arles” and was the first photographer to become a member of the Institut de France.

Nu de la mer, Camargue, 1957

Jean Gaumy

jean-gaumyArmed with the conviction that only photos of a rough sea can convey the hardships of a fisherman’s work, this member of Magnum Photos, who is also known for photographing and filming in submarines, has received many prizes for his work. As a photographer, he has been made a part of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2016.

A bord du chalutier français «Koros»

Brian Griffin

brian-griffinWith his deadpan humour, the British photographer has constantly challenged the genre of portrait photography, be it for corporate commissioned photos or rock album covers. His uncommon touch with people has allowed him to manipulate his subjects into the oddest positions. His work for Iceland’s water management company is another
testimony to his imaginative methods.

Une personne de l’eau, série «The Water People

Harry Gruyaert

harry-gruyaertThe Belgian member of Magnum Photos was a pioneer in the use of colour in documentary photography, and its retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris was as popular as his best selling book “Rivages”. His interest lies not so much in the photo’s subject, but in the landscapes as material to be organised in a frame.

France, Baie de Somme, Fort Mahon plage, 1991

Naoya Hatakeyama

Naoya-HatakeyamaNaoya-Hatakeyama-2With already many famous collections and a passion for industrial and urban landscapes, Hatakeyama is one of the rare Japanese photographers to use colour. The work presented here, commissioned by the “Rencontres d’Arles”, was taken on two neighbouring shores of the Mediterranean sea, the Crau and the Camargue, and is a comparison between their swamplands and industrial atmospheres.

Atmos,2003

Mazaccio & Drowilal

Mazzacio-DrowilalWith an alias that sounds like a stage name, these two young French artists make fun of the tabloids’ tendencies to redundantly picture famous people on holiday, using repetition as a source of humour in their photomontages: surf, seaside mansions on tiny islands, golfing…The exceptional made trivial through accumulation.

L’île, Série Paparazzis, 2014

Arno Rafael Minkkinen

arno-rafael-minkinnenHis rejection by his own mother because he was born with a harelip has lead Arno Rafael Minkkinen to a life of selfportraits, in order to prove to her how beautiful his body was. His alliance with Nature, especially in Finland, is an expansive work of art, as beautiful as it is deeply painful, and as cheerful as it is to us, it is doubtful whether it soothes him.

Le roi de Fosters Pond, 2013

Gonzalo Lebrija

Gonzalo-LebrijaA calm sea, a light breeze, its all so quiet. How far and where will this skipper-less boat drift to? Such is the fascinating, and gradually frightening, question posed by the video of this multi-talented Mexican artist.

Golden Hours – Vidéo couleur et son. 11 mn 21. 2015

Martin Parr

Martin-ParrThis British member of Magnum Photos is famous for his sense of humour vis-à-vis his contemporaries, a characteristic that has also made him very influent. He qualifies himself as a “middle class photographer”, sharing the same background as his subject matter: the British, in the rain or on the Liverpool area’s popular beaches.

Grande Bretagne, Angleterre, Brighton. De la série «The last resort» [La dernière station balnéaire],1983-85

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi-SugimotoThis Japanese artist is one of the most highly regarded contemporary photographers, particularly admired for his seascapes and immaculate silver screens. His subjects’ starkness together with the use of long exposure allows him to create full and rich photos. Hiroshi Sugimoto expresses quietness through the contemplation of the meeting between air and water.

Mer celtique, Boscastle,1994

Alain Willaume

Alain-WillaumeThis great traveller and member of the “Tendance Floue” collective has spent three years aboard a truck visiting the furthest extremities of Europe, most of which are bordered by water. His world transforms the banality of these scenes into actor-less cinematic backdrops.

Série De Finibus Terrae. Duncansby Head.Royaume-Uni.