Olympus goes over the wall
A bare wall is a blank page that demands a story. For three years, dur- ing the Rencontres, Olympus has got walls talking at the entrance to the Hôtel d’Arlatan and, for the first time, this year at the Parc des Ateliers. Each day, these surfaces are enriched by the major and minor events of the week. Between the ‘in’ and the ‘off’, nights too short and days too long, the cool freshness inside churches and the stimulation of the work- shops, the officials’ rounds, the anonymous crowds, the humming of projectors, the champagne of the cocktail parties and the beer of the after parties, you can live ten lives at Arles during the Rencontres. On the first day, the wall holds its breath. As the hours go by, a murmur grows, the echo of the first people to arrive in town—the Rencontres team dashes to the four corners of the city, technicians lay down the first cables, photographers worry about the mounting of their exhibitions, the press office is bustling, François Hébel gives his first interviews... And then the days go by and the murmur amplifies, heads buzz with still images, comments, rows patched up with a hug and a kiss. Lucien Clergue jokes with Maja Hoffmann, François Cheval stays close to the microphone, Martin Parr blushes beneath his tourist’s cap, Christian Caujolle screws up his slanting eyes. Photographs spread out across the walls. Everyone comes to look at them and discover the week mirrored in images. This year, within the framework of the 30 years of the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, three young ENSP graduates have been invited by Olympus to focus their gaze on the festival. You have to be quick to see and quick to snap in order to capture the great tale of Arles 2012. During six days, they put the stage in the spotlight, revealed behind-the-scenes activity and combined the historic with the anecdotic. They’ve pinned up on the wall their vision of a festival that once again offered a new face.Exhibition realised with the cameras and lenses of the new Olympus OM-D digital range.
Prints by Epson.
Exposition venue: Parc des Ateliers.