Edition 2006


The New Life

“I met her for the first time at the Berlin Wall in 1989. She’s someone I really admire, she’s very talented and she did that remarkable work on teenagers; that’s her world and she does it so well. She’s demanding, she knows what she wants and she’s one of the great contemporary photographers.” Raymond Depardon
The New Life
To begin from the body which is never definitively “theirs”, even when everything is already in place. The ambition of the indefinite (as Gombrowicz would say) which is born, at the very heart of contradiction, of the fact of being at once like others and desperately unique. How, then, resolve to inhabit this body definitively as the one possible variant, while the surrounding space is inexhaustibly rich in forms or  “formulas” that one can try on at liberty, the way one tries on dresses?  I’m speaking of the cultural strata into which “they” have parachuted like extraterrestrials - pagan spirits (as Nabokov would say, he who asked himself why, in the end, “they” always imitate prostitutes) - and who are made more of images than of material things. So they try on bodies - a hallucinogenic process (for “them” as for us). For, in appearing, disappearing, and reappearing, they seek as much to lose themselves, to deceive themselves, to make themselves other, as to remind (themselves) of their own existence, which is never certain or definitive.  Experiments which are all too ambiguous.  What they succeed at, in any case, is at making “us” uneasy, we who are capable of accepting a priori something as absurd as toes. 
Extract of the text by Olga Medvedkova, Incipit Vita Nova translated by Richard Pevear, Twin Palms Publisher 2005.

The photographs were taken in the United States in cities such as Austin (Texas), Ashville (North Carolina), Portland (Oregon), Berkeley, Oakland and Los Angeles (California), New Orleans (Louisiana) and some small towns in Georgia. Exhibition presented at the église Saint-Blaise. This exhibition has been produced by Domus Artium, Salamanca, Spain, and Nicolaj Center of contemporary art in Copenhagen Dannemark and Photographer’s Gallery in London arranged in collaboration of Magnum Photos. La Vie Nouvelle The New Life is published at Twin Palms Publishers, October 2005.

  • 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