Edition 2006

GUY LE QUERREC

The elephant’s eye

Closed on 17 September 2006
“A poet and a clown at the same time! I thought of him straight off. Guy’s a virtuoso. He’s got a Magnum side to him – the decisive moment – plus a strong personality. And the knack of shooting at exactly the right moment: he’s really cultivated that and left the rest of us with a terrible complex. He’s your authentic Frenchman, a true Parisian, with real presence and an enormous amount to offer. And what’s more, he loves making people laugh. I once had the good fortune to do a workshop with Guy, who’s a really expert teacher. I helped him, but I observed too: unlimited knowledge and an incredible way of telling you how to make photos. If I had to advise anyone on the subject, I’d say listen to Guy, he knows how to communicate his knowledge and love of photography. There’s something of the psychologist and the magician about him, he loves human beings. And music too, which is a great pleasure for both of us. Another thing we have in common is that we’re both “Africans”. We’ve got this utopian project for meeting in the middle of Africa, with him arriving from the west and me from the east. Maybe that reportage will get done some day. Africa suits him: he’s maybe the most African of all the French photographers. He’s a griot, a musician, a dancer, the gestures, the grace, the way of speaking. He loves Africa and Africans: the people, the women, the music, the songs. He’s very French and universal at the same time. There’s no many Guy Le Querrec in this world!”
Raymond Depardon

The elephant’s eye
Guy Le Querrec is, in his own words, “a photo-grapher, walking the high-wire of chance and reaching out to catch shooting stars”. Jim Harrison, elevating him to the sphere of stars and fire and discounting his modesty, said of him, with regard to his Reportage sur la piste de Big Foot, published at Editions Textuel: “Guy Le Querrec has the splendid yet pitiless eye of a tragedian. (…) These photos will light a fire in your mind, a fire that will endure if you are a human being worthy of the name.” A dramatist who uses photography to serve a message and not a style, Guy Le Querrec went off in 1969 to find out about black Africa and the Maghreb, hired by the weekly Jeune Afrique. Then in 1971 he joined the Vu agency (the one belonging to Editions Rencontre), and the year after co-founded the Viva agency, which he left in 1975. His most representative subjects during this period? Brittany, families in France, Portugal at the time of the Carnation Revolution, and the French on holiday. In 1976 he joined Magnum and carried out major reports – on the Mayol concert in Paris, on China, and on the Big Foot Memorial Ride in the US. From 1977-1985, he accompanied sculptor Daniel Druet to the Elysée Palace for ten sittings with President François Mitterrand. Music, and especially jazz, of which he has been a fan and observer since the ’60s, has a big place in his work. His photographs form a steady, densely-textured chronicle of the world of musicians. As an offshoot of the 25-country African tours undertaken with Aldo Romano, Louis Sclavis and Henri Texier – the trio was Le Querrec’s brainchild – Label Bleu released three box sets: Carnet de Routes, Suite Africaine and, in 2005, African Flashback. In addition, since the first course he ran at the Rencontres d’Arles in 1976, Guy Le Querrec has conducted regular and noteworthy educational activities in France and elsewhere.

Produced by The Rencontres d’Arles.Guy Le Querrec is a Rencontres d’Arles workshop master for The Rencontres d’Arles.After De l’eau dans le jazz in 1983 and Jazz comme une image in 1993, Guy Le Querrec and the jazz quartet made up of Jean-Pierre Drouet, Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis and Henri Texier are back this year with a much-awaited photo-musical improvisation: L’œil de l’éléphant (“The Elephant’s Eye”). A new set of photos as inspiration for an hour of pure musical madness.Evening show created by Olivier Kœchlin and Valéry Faidherbe. Exhibition organised in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the support of Dupon.

  • 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