ARLES 2009

One way of celebrating 40 years of such a vulnerable enterprise might be to invite all those who have so generously put their work on show here. Yet nostalgia and extolling the great deeds of the pastmight not be appropriate for the Rencontres, whose history is made up of creative ventures, photographers pushing back the boundaries of the still image and uncertain periods of transition. This history has never been so effervescent. Even so, the temptation to invite back some of the guiding spirits has been too strong, and the programme for 2009 falls into two parts. 40 Years of the Rencontres brings together the artistic directors who helped the idea develop over time and 40 Years of Radical Change shows photographers whose initial Rencontres exhibitions were controversially at variance with the accepted standards of the time.


The Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award goes to a photographer, or an artist making use of photography, whose work has been recently discovered internationally or deserves to be. The winner is chosen by a vote of photography professionals present in Arles during opening week and receives 25,000 euros. For this celebration of 40 years of the Rencontres d’Arles, fifteen nominators, art directors from past festivals and two current lecturers from the National School of Photography in Arles, have each designated one artist to be exhibited at the Rencontres d’Arles and to compete for the Discovery Award.
The 2009 Discovery Award nominators are Lucien Clergue, Bernard Perrine, Alain Desvergnes, Claude Hudelot, Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Louis Mesplé, Bernard Millet, Michel Nuridsany, Joan Fontcuberta, Christian Caujolle, Giovanna Calvenzi, Martin Parr, Christian Lacroix, Arnaud Claass and Christian Milovanoff.
Exhibitions presented with the backing of LUMA Foundation
  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture