Edition 2016

Olympus engages in a photographic conversation

An exchange of views


Closed on 28 August 2016
Olympus has been fostering dialogue between generations and starting conversations between established and emerging artists for four years. And since it has been committed to the École nationale supérieure de la photographie d’Arles for eight years, this sponsorship programme is intended for the school’s graduates.

Each year, the goal is to create dialogue between a great photographer’s work and a student’s project. A mirror exhibition results from these encounters and shared experiences. The students produce images in response to around 15 pictures by each of the established photographers. They can be a continuation, a reaction, a shift, or even a refutation. An exchange in every sense of the term takes place: words, views, practices, aesthetics, ethics, and more.

This year, three twosomes are at work: Barnabé Moinard has teamed up with Corinne Mercadier, Florian Maurer with Klavdij Sluban, and Pauline Rousseau with Olivier Culmann. Between respect and emancipation, homage and confrontation, the exhibition resulting from their ‘photographic conversations’ attests to an artistic and human adventure.

Natacha Wolinski


Is our destiny determined in childhood or can we make life-changing choices? Pauline Rousseau and Olivier Culmann have opposite views on that question. Olivier’s series The Others shows how powerful religious and social determinism conditions Indians’ lives from birth. Drawing inspiration from his work, Pauline responds with images refuting that determinism. Wondering what would have become of her had she remained in certain relationships, she contacted some ‘exes’ and asked them to appear in a photo where they play the ideal couple they may or may not have formed.


Barnabé Moinard’s photographs hint at anterior strata—brushstrokes, snippets, and all kinds of manipulations. Corinne Mercadier’s pictures look deceptively slick but actually result from a complex process combining drawing, painting, sculpture, and multiple touch-ups on Photoshop. One makes the many layers of his visual interventions visible, the other doesn’t, but both practice collage, cutting, and scratching. These two smart ‘do-it-yourselfers’ were made to meet and dialogue with each other.


When two travelling photographers meet each other, the result is… a travel project. Fascinated by Klavdij Sluban’s roaming photographs and Balkan roots, Florian Maurer followed his elder’s advice and ventured to Albania. He travelled the length and breadth of this surrealistic, endearing country, riddled with 700,000 bunkers built under Enver Hoxha’s dictatorial, paranoid reign. This journey continues his work on Europe’s gateways and follows in the footsteps of Klavdij, a Slovenian-born French photographer who feels as though he is ‘permanently travelling’.

Prints by Picto and La Chambre Noire, Paris, Voies Off, Arles, and Moon Prints, Berlin.
Framing by Picto, Paris, and Voies Off, Arles.

  • 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