Edition 2023


Martine Syms

Ugly Plymouths

Martine Syms uses video to explore the representation of black bodies in contemporary visual culture. Lessons is a series of TV commercial-length videos reflecting on the impact of images from sitcoms and online information, like a long poem about notions of identity and “Blackness”. Drawing from various sources, she examines how the flow of information manipulates the viewer’s perceptions. In Ugly Plymouths, she pursues her exploration of performance, narrative and different image production methods. Filmed in Los Angeles, the scenes switch from beaches to mundane activities as three individuals talk to each other off-screen. The city becomes both a site and a situation. All kinds of people are in the flow of images, which seem to multiply and lose all contact with reality. Syms’ installation is a revealing portrait of Los Angeles in the Digital Age.



May 9 – September 17

Admission included with the Rencontres d’Arles 2023 pass.
  • 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