Edition 2015

Souvenirs of the Sphinx, Like a Short History of Photography

From the Wouter Deruytter Collection

The pyramids overshadowed the Sphinx for millennia until drawings, prints and, especially, photographs made it an icon. Wouters Deruytter’s collection is a history of the photography of this solitary, monumental sculpture. The Sphinx sits beneath albumin, collodion or gelatine skies in monochrome hues ranging from brown to pale pink in nineteenth-century photographs to black and white in the twentieth.The Sphinx, a witness to the birth of archaeology and the growth of tourism, has placidly watched a parade of travellers go by. Wouters’ monumental photographs offer an unprecedented vision of the Sphinx. Exploring the giant with a lion’s body inside and out, the photographer invites us to the heart of the world’s most enigmatic sculpture. This work and this collection tells us how much heritage awareness shifts from one object to another. After accompanying and documenting admiration for the Sphinx, it is the photographs’ turn to be preserved and offered for contemplation.
Luce Lebart

Exhibition curator: Luce Lebart.

Exhibition venue : Musée départemental de l'Arles antique, 1rst floor.

  • 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