Sergio Larrain

Sergio Larrain

-#1

– Retrospective

– Église Sainte-Anne

This exhibition is based off of Larrain’s entire career, from his early apprenticeship years to his “Magnum years.” He agreed to display documentary images to freer images and drawings. I enjoyed viewing this exhibition the most because the documentary photos captured my attention. The entire time I knew that he was passionate about what he was taking photos of and wanted every aspect of the subject he was covering. He had a lot of variety throughout his photos that made me want to see more.

I am very interested in photojournalism, and after seeing this exhibition, I am even more passionate about it.  I am conscious about adding variety to my own photos, so this exhibit taught me why that is important. A viewer wants to see life from all different perspectives. He not only has wide shots, but he has medium shots and detailed, close-up shots.

I am interested in the way that Larrain tells stories with his photos as well. He finds emotion on a subject’s face and draws the viewer into the photo. Some say that photojournalism is a dying profession, but Sergio Larrain’s work shows viewers why it absolutely should not be. Larrain’s photos make is seem as though he wanted to show others how the world really is and how he saw it himself. He found a way to make his photos intriguing and almost beautiful even if he was in a developing country.

Not all people can be as confident behind the lens as Sergio Larrain, and I am proud to say that I viewed his photos.

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Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Rozenn Quéré

Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Rozenn Quéré

-#14

– Possible and Imaginary Lives

– Location: Parc Des Ateliers

This collection of photos is particularly unique because it tells the story of four sisters who are exiled to four different parts of the world.  It is somewhere between documentary and fiction, biography and drama, based on family photographs and taped interviews.

This exhibition is a reflection upon ways of gathering information and making stories emerge. It is an attempt to convey the imagination of the four women, trying to give their imagination the same status as reality. The two photographers were not aiming to write their story, but to create their myth.

I thought this exhibition was interesting because our project in Arles could relate very well. We chose a concept, and it did not have to be complete reality. We tried to imagine a story or point to prove through photographs and would then pursue it, using friends as models or people off of the street to stage a photo.

I am personally not one to stage a photo myself, but this exhibition shows that it works if one has a brilliant idea in mind and a plan on how to create their vision and make others interested. The picture frames around each photo make the viewer feel that the story is real and that no part of it was produced from the minds of the photographers.  The amount of photographs scattered throughout the exhibit made me feel as though I was in one of the sisters’ living rooms rather than an exhibit. DSC_3844

À Fonds Perdus

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-#11

– Collection Raynal Pellicer

-Location: Atelier De Formation

 

His collection included more than one hundred press photos published between 1910 and 1970 by daily newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Herald, the Denver Post, the Detroit News, etc.

There is a general idea that press photographs were not retouched before digital technology or software like Photoshop came along. This collection shows that press photos have always been retouched before publication, if only for reframing purposes or to balance contrasts.

This exhibit is unique because it does not show the final results of the press photos after being retouched, but rather the process an editor must go through to make the photos fit on the newspaper page the best. Instead of just glamorous photos of celebrities on an old newspaper page, I liked how the markings were still on the print of the celebrity and that the photos in their original form were displayed.

It was one of the more bizarre exhibits, but was still very much sophisticated. It showed the hard work that an editor must go through to make the sizing and contrast correct within the newspaper, but, because it was not the finished product, I did not take as much time to think about what each photo was trying to portray. The blue walls made the images stand out as. I eventually would like to be a photo editor of a newspaper, so seeing the processes that used to occur was extremely interesting. The process may have been different than it is now, but the same type of editing is still being performed.

Exhibition Review 3

Stephane Couturier and Frederic Nauczyciel #21

 

This exhibit was called Festival D’Avignon and was done by two photographers. Photography and the Festival of d’Avignon began in the beginning years of the festival using the work of Agnes Varda.  Using her ability to create, the images gave life to theatre. We were able to see the artist’s vision but also the progression of the festival and what work went into it. During the festival in modern times, artists are more inclined to let their creativity flow with new kinds of work. Over four consecutive years (2007-2010) the Festival d’Avignon was transformed into a subject. Over time we are able to see the different visions of each artist on the festival. Each year the festival was revealed in a different way and as a subject changed. The presence of spectators added the dramatic effect the pictures gave. The festival was a melting pot of people, culture and different works of art. I thought this exhibition allowed a change to be seen that signified different artistic visions. I liked how in different photographs there would be spectators and in others there would be none. One particular photo that caught my eye had many different people in it and they were all doing something different because of the different times in each square. I believe the statement the photographers were trying to make in this show was that art, even something as simple as sating up a festival or watching a festival is subjective to the person analyzing it.

 

Exhibition Review 2

Cristina De Middel #21

 

The name of the exhibit is The Astronauts, based on the African country Zambia. In 1964 Zambia entered a space race to be the first African country to put a man/woman on the moon. This was just after Zambia had gained it’s independence, they were hopping to catch up to USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. There were few people who actually supported Zambia’s trek to the moon, it was a school teacher named Edward Makuka who attained the funding. Yet the funding never came through and the United Nations retracted their support, and the astronaut got pregnant. Surrounded by war, violence, hunger and natural disasters, Zambia was able to prevail. The Astronaut is based on the documentation of an impossible dream through photographs. Middel took all the documentation of the event and adapted it to her own imagery. The photographs showcase the struggle for Zambia to get to the moon using beautiful imagery and color. Each photograph shows culture and what Zambia was like in that time period and the struggle of the people. My favorite photograph in this exhibit was of an African man gazing strongly into the distance while wearing an astronaut helmet. His surroundings look dry and scary as if what lies ahead is unknown and vast. I loved how the plight of the people was shows through astounding color and each picture was accompanied by another. The story telling of the exhibit was wonderful and by far my favorite from the Arles photography festival.

 

Exhibition Review 1

Sergio Larrain #01

The first exhibit I chose to review was Sergio Larrain. Larrain was born in Santiago, Chile in 1931 and died in Chile in 2012. He concentrated on people and purity. The Sergio Larrain spent years in the Chilean countryside teaching yoga and focusing on meditation. Larrain spent a lot of time creating books about the state of humanity and what people could do to improve it. Sergio did not exhibit any of his work for a long time due to not wanting to leave social isolation. Towards the end of his life he finally chose to have his work shown. The exhibit took place in Paris and it showcased his entire career. From the his beginning of an apprenticeship to his documentary images. In my opinion I thought the exhibit was about wandering to find fulfillment. In each photograph there were different subjects and it seemed as if the person looking at the photo didn’t quite belong. There were many images of poor people in Santiago and many delinquent children. The photographs showed the social castes of Santiago and how different people in the same city are. The photos ranged from homeless people to middle class people, showing different expressions and different lives. Larrain also displayed the system of Peru and how different it has become since the Inca Empire ended. My favorite photographs were the set that showed men dressed as women and how glamorous they looked even in poverty. I think the exhibition was showing that your means do not dictate your happiness in life.

“What we can explain of the world is far less than what we cannot.”

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Revolution” exhibit in the Espace de Van Gogh introduces us to Sugimoto’s idea that, “There remains, however, a great divide between comprehending the world and being able to explain what we ourselves are. And even then, what we can explain of the world is far less than what we cannot.” When first exploring his photography, I couldn’t comprehend it. I had no scale to relate myself to. As I explored more I realized his photos captured his gaze at the horizons and were rotated 90 degrees. As I walked through another third of the exhibit with my head cocked to the left to better understand the photos I came to the conclusion that I better appreciated the photos when I didn’t quite know where I was nor where I stood. I felt like I was detached from the real world and had entered an alternate universe. Sugimoto described an out-of-body experience in that late spring of 1982 where he watched a sunset and moon rise from a cliff in Newfoundland, he said “I was far above from the earth’s surface gazing at the moon adrift over the sea, while another me—a tiny speck—remained spellbound on the ground.” Looking at his work we were placed far above the earth’s surface along with him. We became bigger than the moon, yet understood that we remained a tiny speck in his exhibition. What an supernatural experience.

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