Mise en scène
Selected Photographic Projects of the Night of the Year of Les Rencontres d’Arles

ZiWU the Bridge presents MISE EN SCÈNE: Selected Photography from the Rencontres d’Arles’ Night of the Year 2022, organized by Meta Media and the Rencontres d’Arles, co-hosted by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. The Night of the Year's programme was curated by Christoph Wiesner and Aurélien Valette and tours in Shanghai this year. The ZiWU team curated the show, with 21 photography projects by selected artists and photographers, including carte blanche for institutions from the Rencontres d’Arles’ 53rd Night of the Year, which will be screened at Modern Art Base. The programme is in four parts: The Promise of Return, Substance Hyperreality, The One Parted In & Out, and Gone with the Wind, respectively portraying dispersion, image, traceability and identity. The socially-contextualized, image-creating activities are intrinsically linked and built into the environment. Roaming through the screens and their content, the audience experiences the work in a new way, through flow, conversion of energy and close contact, both activating and recreating the context of the art.

The Rencontres d'Arles was co-founded by Lucien Clergue, Michel Tournier, and Jean Maurice Rouquette in 1979. The festival launched its Night of the Year in 2004. It’s a major event for opening week with more than 40 photography series shown on a loop each year at the former Étienne Paper Mill in Arles, a signature open-air venue for the photography festival. 

French artist Harilay Rabenjamina’s Is This My Bio? starts off the event, humorously asking questions about the relationship between identity, cognition and self-construction. The first chapter, The Promise of Return, lifts the curtain of deep memory with Sleeping Beauties by Vincent Baillais and Julien Guintard, to Living Room by Jana Sophia Nolle, and Arquitectura Libre by Adam Wiseman. The dust-laden car below Paris, the makeshift cardboard house in an affluent Berlin living room, and fantasy houses in rural Mexico are abandoned objects hidden in memory that leave a mark on the space to become a spiritual landscape commemorating the past.

The second chapter, Substance Hyperreality, presents the relationship to a variety of possibilities and space and discusses ways of reconfiguring the body. The powerful images of Atlas of Voids and Transfection do not represent the heterotopia of reality, matter and scene, they present a new utopia.

The third chapter, The One Parted In & Out, traces the plight of humans on native land: Scottish mystical beliefs in Lost Tales, A World in Between, Fuji Mountain in Fujinoyamai-Incurable Disease, Contemporary Algeria in Postcards from A Setting That You Don’t Know, and displaced persons in Marseille after the collapse of an apartment building in 2018, described in Unworthy Roof. The drifting fragmentation makes sounds from the homeland seem distant and subtle. 

The eight photography series in the final chapter, Gone With the Wind, describe the juxtaposition of multiple cultures, histories and social realities, in an encounter between incompatible people living in different contexts and dimensions. The exhibition considers identity issues, with Do you See the Clouds Wrapping the Sky?, which asks: "What does it mean to ‘have an identity'? Perhaps it is best characterized as an enigma –an amalgamation of diverse elements."

By presenting French and international photography with different themes, artistic languages and image expression, the event brings the latest international works of photography to viewers in Shanghai, triggering reflection on photography and its relationship to society and humanity. The screening also coincides and confronts local Chinese photography and promotes communication and innovation in Chinese and French contemporary photography. 


ZiWU Film Programme
MISE EN SCÈNE: Selected Photographic Projects of the Night of the Year of Les Rencontres d’Arles, 2022

Chief Curator: Christoph Wiesner, Aurélien Valette

Curator of Shanghai Tour: Claire Pan, Eric Guo

Duration: 2022.9.3 — 10.9

Opening Time: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-20:00 (Closed on Monday and public holiday) 

The event received special support from Chanel.

  • 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