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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Eve Arnold, School for non-violence, Virginia, 1960 © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold, School for non-violence, Virginia, 1960 © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

Located in a former wine cellar on Cours du Médoc in Bordeaux, the Arrêt sur l’Image Gallery has hosted the HSBC Photography Prize award winners every two years since 2004. Following the exhibitions in Paris and Mougins, this year’s award-winning images by Marta Zgierska and Christian Vium have made it to Bordeaux where they will be on display until October 8th. We have interviewed Nathalie Lamire Fabre who launched the Arrêt sur l’Image Gallery over twenty years ago.

How would you describe the programming of the Arrêt sur l’Image Gallery?

Since 1993, the gallery has explored contemporary photography in all its diversity. Having inaugurated the space—only 20 square meters at the time—with the work of Pierre Boulat, we went on to feature Alice Spring’s portraits. Because specializing in photography was a bold move back then, with the market still in its infancy, for a while we included contemporary creation focused on works on paper, such as collages, prints, and lithographs. We also exhibited such artists as Richard Serra and Antoni Tapiès. But for the past eight years, nearly 90 to 95% of our exhibitions have been dedicated to photography. We alternate between photographers who could be defined as humanist, such as René Burri, Marc Riboud, and Bernard Plossu, and less seasoned artists.

The HSBC Prize and the gallery go a long way back, to 2004… 

Indeed, as is the case with many artists I’ve exhibited, everything starts with an encounter. The philosophy behind this award, which is to promote young talent, seamlessly aligns with my own conception of photography. It allows me to discover new talent and keep up with the development of contemporary photography as well as exhibit artists at the very beginning of their careers. Sometimes we get to write another chapter in those relationships, as in the case of Patrick Taberna whom we exhibited in 2004 as part of the HSBC Prize, and whose work we continue to feature on a regular basis.

Let’s take a peek behind the scenes… When you install an exhibition, what’s your working relationship with the artist like?

First comes the reception of the works. This allows me to get a handle on the universe of the award winners. Some adopt a principle which we reproduce, of course adapting it to the space of the gallery. This is true this year of Christian Vium whose work is shown in the form of an installation combining wallpaper and superimposed images. Marta’s work, on the other hand, is more classical, which gives me more leeway to propose my own vision. However, it’s a collaboration where everyone’s input matters, and we always come to an agreement! This exchange is as rewarding for them as it is for me.

What was the reaction of your audience to these two singular artists, winners of the 2016 award?

The gallery has regular visitors who expect to be surprised. This is part of the identity of the Arrêt sur l’Image Gallery. People come here to discover new talent. Over the past five years, we have welcomed new visitors from outside Bordeaux. This is a younger audience, aged between forty and fifty, who also appreciate novelty and love being “shocked.”

Interview conducted by Sophie Bernard

Exhibition
Arrêt sur l’Image Gallery
Until October 8, 2016
45, cours du Médoc
33300 Bordeaux
www.arretsurlimage.com
05 35 40 11 05/ 06 80 47 89 13

Publications
 
Christian Vium, Villes nomade, Text by Diane Dufour and Armelle Choplin (Actes Sud), 20 euros

Marta Zgierska, Post, Tex by Christian Caujolle, (Actes Sud), 20 euros

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