Maison Europeenne de la Photographie
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Four Exhibitions
dal 17/6/2008 al 13/9/2008

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Maison Europeenne de la Photographie

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Four Exhibitions

Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris

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Annie Leibovitz

Presented for the first time in Europe, this exhibition features over 200 prints and includes work made on editorial assignment for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as personal photographs of her family and friends. "I don't have two lives," Leibovitz says. "This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it."

The exhibition features many of Leibovitz's best-known portraits of public figures, including actors such as Jamie Foxx, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt; athletes preparing for the 1996 Olympic Games; and George W. Bush with members of his Cabinet at the White House.

The show also highlights images of artists and architects such as Richard Avedon, Brice Marden, Philip Johnson and Cindy Sherman. Leibovitz's assignment work includes reportage from the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s, the election of Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Senate, and the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
The artist has photographed landscapes from the American West, the Jordanian desert and the wilds of upstate New York, and these are featured prominently.

At the heart of the exhibition, images from Leibovitz's personal life reflect many intimate and moving moments; as well as images taken on her travels there are photos documenting the birth and childhood of her three daughters, and family reunions.

Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005 threads together the two sides of Leibovitz's work both chronologically and creatively, projecting a narrative of the artist's private life against the backdrop of her public image as one of America's best-known celebrity photographers.

The exhibition was organized by the Brooklyn Museum with support from Amercian Express. It has been hosted by the San Diego Museum of Art, Atlanta's High Museum of Art, San Francisco's de Young Museum. It appears for the first time in Europe at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, supported by Figaroscope, before travelling to London's National Portrait Gallery.

Exhibition curator: Charlotta Kotik, contemporary art curator at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. International exhibition coordinator: Susan Bloom

Visits : Guided visits are available for subscribers, groups and schools. For more information see ". Events/Guided visits to exhibitions".

Films : A documentary on Annie Liebovitz, made by her sister, will be shown at the MEP every Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm. For more information, see ". Current events/Films".

Catalogue : A catalogue is available, published by La Martinière. For more information, see ". Books and films/Books".

William Klein

Dressage, an exhibition suggested by Agarttha Arte, is part of the project entitled "Piedmont: a Definition", based on commissions from major photographers.
Following on from Alain Fleischer in 2007, William Klein has been given carte blanche to produce an artistic work. Usually a photographer of crowds, demonstrations and sports events, he had never before turned his attention to the world of equestrianism. Here he focuses on the 2007 European dressage championships held at the International Horse Centre at the Venaria Reale in Turin.

Of the three Olympic disciplines, showjumping, eventing and dressage, the last is certainly the least spectacular and the most difficult to explain to the uninitiated.
And yet the idea of dressage is simple, and forms the basis of all competitive and academic horsemanship: it involves making the horse assume its natural gait when its balance has been altered by the weight of a rider.

In the 5th century BC, Xenophon noted that "guided by a light hand... raising his neck and gracefully pulling back his head, he will assume the proud, noble demeanour he naturally enjoys, for when he returns with other horses, particularly mares, this is when he will raise his neck the most, bringing back its head with a proud, lively air, lifting its legs softly and carrying its tail high. Each time we can make him do what he does naturally when he wants to appear beautiful, we will have a horse that works with pleasure and appears lively, noble and superb." François Faverot de Kerbrech, Napoléon III's last equerry, confirmed this when he wrote in 1891 that in order to be easy and pleasant to ride, a horse "must be well-balanced, straight at the shoulder and withers, with its head constantly still and well-positioned, and it must keep its balance on its own... all defensiveness and instinctive resistance must have disappeared. For a horse to shine, we must be able to seat it, broaden its movements and make it pick up its feet at will". But these simple principles are expressed via academic figures that have become coded over time and which can appear artificial and mannered.

William Klein's genius lies in the way he has chosen to look at the somewhat closed milieu of dressage as an outsider, avoiding all forms of didacticism. The result is supremely pertinent: the impeccable elegance of a Portuguese horseman riding by, the endless waiting in the horseboxes and stables, the team's excitement about their 'champions' or on the podium, and most of all the children, with their smiles and their delightful rapport with the horses. These pictures truly convey the life, the colour and the warmth of the world of dressage.

Alain Sayag

Exhibition supported by the Piedmont Region, the Fondation CRT, Compagnia di San Paolo, UniCredit Group, Bentley S.o.A S.p.A and Dupon.

Curated by Adele Re Rebaudengo and Jean-Luc Monterosso


Dal Piemonte a Parigi:
William Klein alla Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in collaborazione con UniCredit Group

Dal 18 giugno al 14 settembre 2008 — in contemporanea alla mostra principale allestita alla Maison dedicata a Annie Leibovitz — è visitabile l’ultimo progetto fotografico di William Klein, dedicato al Centro Internazionale del cavallo La Venaria Reale, residenza immersa in un contesto ambientale e architettonico di assoluta bellezza e magnificenza a circa 10 km da Torino.

Le opere di Klein sono state prodotte da Agarttha Arte nell’ambito del progetto “Piemonte. Una definizione”, in collaborazione con UniCredit Group.
Ogni anno, i curatori del progetto Adele Re Rebaudengo, Presidente di Agarttha Arte e Jean Luc Monterosso, Direttore della Maison Européenne de la Photographie, con Walter Guadagnini, Presidente della Commissione Scientifica UniCredit & l’Arte individuano un artista invitandolo a realizzare una propria lettura del Piemonte, regione che si sta confermando all’avanguardia nella promozione dell’arte e della cultura.

Nella realizzazione del suo progetto, William Klein ha scelto di riflettere sulla Reggia della Venaria Reale e sul Centro Internazionale del cavallo. La Reggia ospita infatti un centro equestre, memore di una grande tradizione, oggetto unico dell’indagine condotta dall’artista, in collaborazione con gli studenti dell’Accademia. In particolare Klein si è focalizzato sul dressage, ossia le gare di addestramento dei cavalli, e sul campionato internazionale legato a questo sport, omaggiandone l’eleganza, la disciplina e il rigore.

Nel giugno dello scorso anno è stato presentato alla Maison Européenne de la Photographie il progetto che ha coinvolto Alain Fleischer; da quel momento si è avviata una collaborazione con la prestigiosa istituzione, intensificata con la partecipazione di UniCredit a Paris Photo — la principale Fiera Internazionale di Fotografia che si svolge ogni anno a Parigi, presso il Carrousel du Louvre.
La Maison Européenne de la Photographie presenta, a cadenza bimestrale, un’opera dalla collezione del Gruppo, che vanta oltre 4000 fotografie, storiche e contemporanee. In questa cornice sono già state presentate fotografie di Olivo Barbieri, Thomas Struth e Daniele De Lonti.

In occasione della mostra di Klein, Agarttha Arte, la Regione Piemonte UniCredit (partner del progetto fin dalla sua prima edizione nel 2002), doneranno alla prestigiosa collezione dell’Istituzione parigina una tiratura di cinque opere di Fleisher presentate lo scorso anno, per rinsaldare ulteriormente il rapporto di partnership.

Con il progetto UniCredit & l’Arte, il Gruppo UniCredit è attivo dal 2004 nella divulgazione e diffusione dei linguaggi della contemporaneità e nel supporto ai giovani talenti nel campo delle arti visive, della musica, del teatro e della letteratura, attraverso un sistema di partnership con progetti di lungo termine in tutti i paesi dove il Gruppo opera.
Attraverso acquisizioni, committenze e produzioni di progetti, UniCredit & l’Arte aggiorna il patrimonio storico; la “giovane” collezione contemporanea del Gruppo ha sulla fotografia, storica e contemporanea, il proprio focus, includendo oltre 4000 opere. Le opere vengono concesse per mostre pubbliche e sono presentate negli uffici e nelle agenzie UniCredit attraverso la rassegna Sharing Passions.

Catterina Seia, Responsabile del progetto UniCredit & l’Arte,
Carlotta Magnanini, Ufficio Stampa UniCredit,


Eric Aupol

From 2001 to 2002, Eric Aupol led a photography workshop with inmates of the Centrale de Clairvaux, a French prison facility. In parallel, he carried out a photography project on the old prison, a ruined Cistercian abbey, whose crumbling walls seem to speak of the painful story of the men and women imprisoned within them.

Echoing the marks on the old stone walls, Eric Aupol has given concrete form to the ravages of memory and existence by photographing the body of an inmate, tattooed and scarred like the stones, the surface of his body bearing the story of a life of revolt and rebellion. Stone and flesh both bear the scars wrought by prison life.

"People used to tell me that Clairvaux is one of the harshest and most forbidding prisons in Europe, made famous by the guillotining of convicted murderers Buffet and Bontemps and Robert Badinter's magnificent diatribe against the death penalty.

Clairvaux is also where a certain Jean Genet was imprisoned ; it was there that he wrote Diary of a Thief.
And Clairvaux is a village in eastern France that sits under a sad, leaden sky.
The oldest inmates tell me that your vision quickly blurs there, as the eye can never focus on the far distance.
The prison's architecture seems designed to reduce available space and to offend the eye.
To leave marks on the body, forever.

So that an indelible imprint is scorched into people's memories.
After several months' work, T.C, an inmate for several years and a well-known upholder of prisoners' rights, agreed to pose for me. I wanted to deal with the special relationship between the walls of the prison and T.C.'s body, both of which can be seen as a palimpsest. The tattoos engraved into the man's skin, the marks of a social outcast, recall the marks on the building itself. […]

Some years later, I asked after T.C and was told that he had committed suicide shortly after his release.
More than a tribute, what I want to show here is a materiality. A body of flesh and a body of stone, against a backdrop of violence: that of memory and that of existence, eternally scarred in the half-darkness.
Today more than ever, when incarceration and humiliation seem to be the only recourse of power when faced with non-conformity, where every victim becomes an excuse for a new scheme to limit our freedoms, I just want to remember what the reality of prison can be like, when space gets confused and memory is the only defence against present suffering.

Because people suffer in prison, more than anywhere else.
The fact of being a Man must be defended every day in the face of the physical and mental violence endured by the inmates. Just staying upright and alive and putting one's life into perspective is a daily struggle for each and every one of them. Reality disappears from everyday existence, and inner strength becomes the only means for survival (these men spend 25 or 30 years inside).
As I write these words I think of T.C., of the talks we had, and of his absolute, uncompromising humanity.
He was a "long term inmate" I happened to meet one day, just like the others, full of the energy of revolt. "

Eric Aupol

Curators: Didier Kahn Sriber and Jean-Luc Monterosso.


Sophie Elbaz

L'envers de soi (The others side of the self) includes some of the most significant work from the photographic career of Sophie Elbaz.
As a photojournalist for Reuter and Sygma from 1986 to 1985, she covered some major events which shaped her vision, as evidenced in Contre toute attente,a photographic essay on the subject of Bosnian refugees. In 1995, she stopped working for the press and discovered Cuba. Her work on the Garcia Lorca, the Havana Opera House, pays tribute to the resilience of an inward-looking world. More recently she produced a trilogy entitled Aleyo, on the theme of the Sacred, the Body, and Politics. Cuba gradually became a workshop for her imagination, providing her with both the material and the opportunity for a "writing of the Self" capable of revealing the 'other side' of things, beyond surface appearances.
Also part of the exhibition is Sophie Elbaz's first film, an account of her search for the Sephardic roots on her father's side of the family.

"A life is more than just a series of stops and starts. It is constructed gradually over time, via an acceptance of change, distortion and transmutation. This is how a life's evolution is formed.
For this reason, rather than designing this show as a corpus representing the state of my thoughts and investigations at a given point, I have made it reflect key stages on the road I have followed as a photographer. Although the world at large has been the setting for my humanistic work, I had to explore my inner self to understand that I had not merely been projecting my own suffering onto that world: Death Row, incest in the US, mass rape in Bosnia, the Romanian revolution, the release of Nelson Mandela, refugee camps in Rwanda. Outcasts were my subjects throughout my time at the Sygma agency. Contre Toute Attente, the set of pictures I made during the conflict in former Yougoslavia, is presented at the beginning of the exhibition.

In 1995, I stopped being a reporter and stepped onto Cuban soil for the first time. My own roots and the years I spent in Mexico, in Africa, in India and in the USA no doubt prepared me to be receptive without being judgmental. This meant I was able to go beyond the rationality of certainty, throwing myself into a world inspired by Alejo Carpentier, Wilfredo Lam and Mendive.

Although my encounter with the Cuban soul was in some ways a pretext (in the same way Michel Leiris makes Africa into a metaphor for writing on the Self, or of a field of energy), it also enabled me to make the necessary inner journey to my African-ness and to my psyche. It became possible for me to use a new idiom of light against the backdrop of my own imagination.

From 1995 to 1999, I photographed the Lorca theatre in the purist black and white tradition: this was a lesson in resilience and humility at the Havana Opera House.
Today, my most recent work Aleyo is a cry for life coloured with the hues of a land that is essential to me, bearing witness to a heritage that had, until recently, withstood the assaults of colonisation and 50 years of Marxist-Leninist thought.

To conclude this quest for my origins, I am also presenting my first film, which I made in late 2007 in Constantine, Algeria, and which traces the history of my grandfather, Jonathan Elbaz."

Sophie Elbaz

Visits : Guided visits are available for subscribers, groups and schools. For more information see "Events/Guided visits to exhibitions".

Catalogue : A catalogue is available, published by Images En Manœuvres. For more information, see "Books and Films/Books".


Maison Europeenne de la Photographie
5/7 rue de Fourcy - Paris

Six exhibitions
dal 25/3/2014 al 24/5/2014

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