The 64th edition of Rencontres d’Arles opened yesterday. It’s the first edition under the “new direction” of Sam Stourdzé, who was appointed after twelve editions by François Hebe. Perhaps the first visible change is the absence of the animals that would fill up the posters and ads to the festival. Now they’ve been replaced by graphic elaborations of the exhibited photos, grouped up according to the festival’s sections.
As rich of stimuli as always, this year's festival will be more “compact” (35 exhibitions instead of last year’s 50), while still aimed at the hybridization and merging of photographic genres, styles and practices. There are two classics, Walker Evans and Stephen Shore (Relecture section); contaminations with architecture, music and cinema (Résonances section); photographic distances, between Japan and the Tierra del Fuego (Je vous écris d’un Pays lointain); the new documentary photography (Les plateformes du visible), with Woods and Galimberti, Majoli and Pellegrin, and Natasha Caruana, amongst others; the section dedicated to collections (Étranges collectionneurs); new authors selected by five international curators (Émergences). And, following in the steps of tradition, there’s vaste room for the publishing industry and self-publishing, as well as meetings and parallel events throughout the city.
This edition certainly falls in line with the identity that was created over the past decade, but we are expecting a few good surprises, too.

Opening week: 6th-12th July. Exhibitions are open until 20th September.

Gabriele Magazzù

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