Edition 2012

Sebastien Calvet

All of politics is a stage

It has its principal characters, its supporting cast and its scenery. The show goes on permanently before your eyes, with its staged duels and its kissing. Photographing this human comedy was a choice. I joined them, got into their rhythm, and patiently recorded the doings of the candidates for power. I observed the groups of trusted accomplices and the enemy groups. I also looked at the distorting mirror of the media. I brought the figures of the picture takers, the recorders of sound, and the scribes into my frame. I decided to publish my pictures by drip feed. The newspaper Libération gave me the hospitality of its pages. Over all these years I’ve been allowed to share the little things that make up the lives of politicians, and mine too. Current affairs are nothing more than the sum of a lot of insignificant moments. The flow of information is there for the commentators and the analysts; I try to stay on the side—an on-board observer, but trying to keep my innocence and remain lucid. Basically, what I catch is the loneliness and the travel. A life spent travelling with people I’m trying to follow, and who sometimes shake me off. The most difficult thing in this race is to hold on to your way of seeing. I don’t photograph politics. I pursue women and men to strange destinations; towns without a name, where we stay for no more than a few hours. They go there to make a speech, shake a few hands, kiss a few cheeks. When the circus is interrupted, I capture the lapse. You have to act fast, take advantage of those moments that escape the control of the public relations people.

Sébastien Calvet

Prints by Dupon, Paris.
Screening by Coïncidence.
Sound installation: Caroline Cartier.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers.

  • 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