Today was the last day of our stay in Arles and it seems to be bitter sweet for us all. The rhythm of Arles was much different than that of our beloved Prague. It took us longer to get used to the slower pace of the south of France but we grew to appreciate it in a different and more photographically focused manner. What the city taught us and our love for it showed in class.
We started the sweltering day at 1 p.m., later than the rest of our class days, but the refreshing air conditioned room in which we had our critiques could not come to soon. Excited to see the bodies of work that we had worked on this week, we attentively viewed and discussed our conceptual projects. With fourteen of us living together we end up seeing bits and pieces of the work we will showcase or the process of getting to the images; somehow seeing the finished products is an astounding surprise every time. After getting through our concept photography projects we had another set of images to discusses. In Arles we also photographed ruins as an assignment, which helped reinforce our lesson on architectural photography from Prague.
Critiques took about three hours to complete and then the rest of our day was free. I took advantage of our last day in Arles to visit one last exhibit in a beautiful church by the Rhône River called Église des Frères Prêcheurs. The exhibition, by Alfredo Jaar,was an intense documentation about genocide, war conflicts and politics. After spending an hour at the small but detailed show, I indulged one last timein the gelato Arles had to offer and ran into some familiar faces.
In the evening, when we all began to gather back at the hostel, Darcy met us with the key to beautiful photographs. A real key though- to the roof. The view of the monuments during sunset was unreal. The fourteen of us eagerly snapped away with our cameras before the light transitioned out of blue-hour and into night. Watching the city changefrom this new perspective was the perfect way to say goodbye to Arles. We will miss the city with its ancient beauty but we are ready for our new adventure in Paris.