Skeptics have finally ceded, in line with those quickly won over by the vertigo of new horizons. Fascinated by the technical capacities of this new tool, excited by its characteristics, or simply being “of their day”, cameramen have gone from one materiality to another with very little resistance. Professionals have transferred their knowledge of developer baths to image-processing software, abandoning chemistry, not without some regret. New enthusiasts have adopted a freer material, quickly forgetting the constraint of the twenty-four or thirty-six exposures that used to determine the ability to capture life’s best moments.
The advent of the digital, the agony of the analog. It was the next step for the history of photography at the turn of the twenty-first century. When changes occur rapidly to a practice as common, daily, universal as photography, how can the scope of its impact be measured? Technological change creates a true shock wave. If photographers’ new methods are a part of change, an entire industrial and commercial organization quickly suffers from their effects.
Attentive witnesses of the transition, three photographers, Catherine Leutenegger, Robert Burley, and Michel Campeau, simultaneously investigated certain aspects of this technological and societal revolution. The photographs comprising this exhibition make an objective, distanced analysis of a process that has now come to an end.
Anne-Céline Borey is an exhibition curator at the Museum of Photography André Villers.
Argentic Agony, The End of a Photographic Era
From February 8 through May 5, 2017
Museum of Photography André Villers