Edition 2013


Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931-2007/1934-) figure among the most influential artists of our time. At the end of the 1950s, the Bechers started their work on the industrial heritage (buildings and landscapes) of Western Europe that was threatened with destruction. They then launched into assembling what would become one of the largest industrial archives of our era. Their photographs, which transformed industrial architecture into anonymous sculptures, removed from any context, would later win them the Leone d’Oro award for sculpture at the Venice Biennial. This exhibition offers an historical reading of these two German photog- raphers through printed material. It enables us to better understand the different phases of their approach, in particular the shift from the conception of the work identified as a unique photograph to the repre- sentation of the work as a series of images, or typology. It shows the different page layouts: the typological construction is perfectly legible in the first publications (reviews and catalogues); it would no longer be so afterwards, in the thematic monographs in which only a single image would be presented per page. The exhibition is therefore a first insofar as it presents no photographs, except for ten prints of the limited edition published by the Mönchengladbach Museum (Industriebauten, 1968). It emphasises the image the artists wanted to give of their work, the representation they had of it.

Exhibition curators: Antoine de Beaupré and Jean-Christophe Blaser for the Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne.
Exhibition produced by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, presented by the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie.
Exhibition venue: Arena Gallery.

  • 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