Edition 2024



1 July - 29 September 2024

09.30 AM - 06.00 PM




For over a century, major sporting events have been accompanied by images. With the rise of amateur photography at the end of the 19th century, coinciding with the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, photography and sport have, in many respects, evolved together. The visibility given to sporting events necessarily entails the image. In the quest for performance in which effort and gestural skills fuse together, sport is conducted according to precise rules and is paraded as a spectacle when it is carried out with a view to competition. The staging of sport is relayed by the photographers who occupy positions around the stadium. Watched and played everywhere, from the most industrialized to the remotest parts of the globe, sport as a spectacle is coveted both by world of media, economics and politics. Major events attract an ever larger crowd ang gain an increasing global audience thanks to the images. The sporting performance, on which the cameras fixate, becomes a demonstration of a social model. Photography has undoubtedly played an essential role in this process, mobilizing a mass audience.

Sport in Focus unveils the vast photographic collections of the Olympic Museum and the Photo Elysée museum in Lausanne. During major competitions, photographs are intended to draw attention to the athletes’ performances. By exploring a largely unpublished photographic heritage, this exhibition offers us a narrative that sheds light on sports photography and the Olympic Games in particular.

Nathalie Herschdorfer

Curator: Nathalie Herschdorfer.

Curatorial Team: Audrey Bongard, Fanny Brülhart, Anne-Cécile Jaccard, Yasmin Meichtry, Hannah Pröbsting, Fernando Scippa, Anna Volz Got and Anja Wodsak.

Scientific Advisors: Olivier Le Noé and Julien Sorez.

Exhibition coproduced by the Olympic Museum and Photo Elysée, Lausanne and the Rencontres d’Arles.

With support from the Swiss Confederation and the Vaud canton.

This exhibition received a grant from Paris 2024 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

The exhibition is being extended to Paris Gare de Lyon and Marseille Saint-Charles stations with the support of SNCF Gares & Connexions.

Photo Elysée, Cantonal Museum for Photography, is a Museum of the Canton de Vaud managed by the Plateforme 10 Foundation.

Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Olympic Museum houses the heritage collections of the International Olympic Committee.

  • 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