Edition 2024



1 July - 29 September 2024

10.00 AM - 07.30 PM


Graffiti skates on the fragile edge of reality. It is foolish to try to capture it: it is a feeling, an attitude, a way of doing things. Freed from aesthetics, graffiti is a mental and physical connection to the margins, original traces of the shadows of prehistory and childhood. From the signs left by hobos to those that adorned the silver subway cars in New York in the 1970s, graffiti is a kinetic form of writing, using the lines formed by the rails as its backdrop. Born from imbalance, graffiti grows on the verticality of architecture, in its nooks and crannies, on its grime and in its dead ends. It is a form of vandalism that brings to light forgotten surfaces. It is a romantic practice in the way it deals with time. It is a painting of urgent patience: you have to wait, then act quickly. It is an opaque form of painting. It composes and decomposes the languages of the communities. It’s about chosen identities, styles, fast flows, outfits, colors and head-down, to-the-ground remixes. Graffiti paints the fault lines. It’s an outgrowth. It is a language of protest, as well as a process of domination: it is a toxic masculine form of writing. Humankind was born a graffiti artist. The signature is a sign of authenticity; although it is anonymous, it is also a self-portrait. But graffiti emerges only to disappear, leaving behind traces and wounds, to quote Henri Michaux. The ultra-visible combines with the unspeakable—absence, belief, and complaint. The photographic medium accompanies the history of graffiti from the secrecy of the analog era to the algorithms of the digital age, as graffiti is also a network of images and mythologies inscribed on sensitive surfaces.

Bringing together around forty international artists, All in the Name of the Name brings together visions of disorder to create the imagery of chaos. Documentary, atmospheric and action photography, intimate archives, burnt out, forgotten memories, pictorial photography, police photography—the exhibition unfurls the negative film of graffiti, a revelation of what is stirring under the surface of urban life.

Hugo Vitrani

Curator: Hugo Vitrani.

Exhibition coproduced by Palais de Tokyo and the Rencontres d’Arles.

Publication: AU NOM DU NOM. Les surfaces sensibles du graffiti, delpire & co, 2024.

  • 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