Edition 2016


White Gestures in The Wilderness

Works from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques

‘A giant standing amidst the constellations, a car with steamed-up windows, people indefinitely diving from a boat that will be their loss or salvation, a face wrapped up in the folds of a blue corolla. Troubling images, charged with intensity, turmoil, a brooding force. “Presences” that shy away, suspended on the boundary between the familiar and the strange, the mundane and the wonderful. Sometimes, a threat looms: a harsh flash, stifling framing, burning hues. There, photographs suggest fairy tales: slumbering ball gowns, a genie coming out of its lamp. Then, we think there’s an apparition: the glistening of fabric. Here, reality resurfaces: the rebellion of a tensed body, silently recalling a tragedy that has become sadly ordinary. The only cry that could pierce the silence will be deaf.’

For this third edition of a partnership between the Centre National des Arts Plastiques and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, the exhibition, organised by four student curators, borrows its title from a line in Merlin and the Old Woman, a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire: ‘I made white gestures in the wilderness.’ It has been conceived of as a statement about a relationship to the world consisting of a new delight in and approval of things such as they are in their indecisiveness, their disquiet, the discomfort in which they leave us like a call for attention, to listen to possibilities.

Exhibited artists: Dieter Appelt, Marina Ballo Charmet, Valérie Belin, Patrick Everaert, Juul Hondius, Valérie Jouve, Mehdi Meddaci, Duane Michals, Marc Pataut, Pierre Savatier, Georges Tony Stoll, Patrick Tosani.

Exhibition curators: Amélie Blanc, Lexane Laplace, Camille Kirnidis and Alice Millet, students at the ENSP.
Exhibition coproduced by the Cnap and the ENSP.
Educational supervision: Pascal Beausse, head of the CNAP’s photography collections, and Christian Gattinoni, artist and teacher at the ENSP.

  • 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