With Portrait(s), the city of Vichy steps into the world of photography for the third consecutive year. Portrait(s), which will run from 12 June until 6 September, is the only exhibition in France to focus exclusively on the art of the portrait. Presenting an entire spectrum of different ways of seeing, it celebrates the portrait in its every form, from the most classical to the most startling, building on both the tradition of documentary photography and more conceptual or fictional schemes, and thus offering a splendid group of exhibitions that are both demanding and mainstream.
An international exhibition and photographic rendezvous, Portrait(s) is being held in the galleries of the Centre Culturel Valery-Larbaud in the city centre, in front of the Church of Saint-Blaise and on the Esplanade de l’Allier, in the open air. Bringing to light new discoveries and rediscoveries, the work of both renowned photographers and younger artists, the city offers its visitors to the festival a genuine photographic saunter. Beneath the summer sun, walkers are invited to take part in a stroll punctuated by images in which they will recognize the features of faces of celebrities and nameless people who could be our neighbours.
Vichy Portrait(s) reconfirms the commitment it made to contemporary photography in 2014, offering a photographer a period as artist in residence. This year it was Turkish photographer Yusuf Sevinçli who wandered around the city for a month, sett- ling his thoroughly humanitarian gaze on its people.
Portrait(s) brings together eleven artists in this year’s exhibitions. The galleries of the Centre Culturel Valery-Larbaud, which was built at the beginning of the last century, will show work by Martin Schoeller, Bruce Wrighton, Alejandro Cartagena, Richard Pak, Kourtney Roy, Mat Jacob and L’Une et l’Autre.
German photographer Martin Schoeller puts together close-up portraits of twins and uses these mirror images, which contain astonishing resemblances, to ask a profound question : what it is that forms the individual and his or her identity ? American Bruce Wrighton reinvented street photography in the 1980s. Using an 8x10 camera, he shot portraits of ordinary citizens of Binghamton, NY, the small city where he lived until he died prematurely in 1988, at the age of 38. French photographer Richard Pak went to seek out emotions in the crowds at rock concerts, watching the faces of the fans for signs of the fervour, fever or stupor that border on trances or ecstasy, and capturing these moments at the closest range. Alejandro Cartagena, from the Dominican Republic, presents us with a portrait of Mexico City in both social and urban terms through a stunning series of photographs of local workers on their way to their jobs, day by day, bundled together invisibly like farm animals in the back of pick-ups, all in bright colours. Kourtney Roy, a young Canadian now working in Paris, has for some years imposed her tall silhouette in self-portraits that manipulate both glamour and self-mockery. Mat Jacob, who also comes from France has wandered around China, Mexico, Russia, Myanmar, West Bank and elsewhere, putting together a discreet, sensitive atlas of the world and its people. The exhibition L'Une et l'Autre presents an extract from the “Carnets de route” collection, series of photographic tales that were developed in the 100 Voix! workshops and open to victims of exclusion and female residents of Aurore Association shelters.
On the Esplanade de l’Allier, passers-by can admire some sixty tender and roguish portraits made between the 40’s up to now by American photographer Elliott Erwitt, a legendary member of the Magnum Agency.
The photographs on exhibition on the Place Saint-Louis are portraits of citizens of Vichy commissioned from Yusuf Sevinçli. A regular frequenter of urban spaces, Sevinçli got to meet a lot of people during his stay in the city in March and took the time to talk to them, thus creating the ties that give each portrait a dimension both intimate and universal.
PROGRAMME SELECTION BY :
FANY DUPÉCHEZ, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR KARIM BOULHAYA, DIRECTOR CENTRE CULTUREL VALERY-LARBAUD & CO-CURATOR
CHARLOTTE BENOIT, ASSISTANT TO THE MAYOR, CULTURAL AFFAIRS OFFICER
ARTISTIC DIRECTORFANY DUPECHEZ firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTOR OF CENTRE CULTUREL VALERY-LARBAUD & CO-CURATORKARIM BOULHAYA email@example.com
PROJECT MANAGERPASCAL MICHAUT firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA RELATIONSNATHALIE DRAN COMMUNICATION email@example.com / 00 33 6 99 41 52 49 / 00 33 9 61 30 19 46
GRAPHIC CONCEPTELEMENT-S / JÉRÔME WITZ firstname.lastname@example.org
TECHNICAL DIRECTIONJEAN-MICHEL FIORI & JERO ME SCHIRTZINGER email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org / 00 33 4 70 30 55 73