Saturday, July 3, 2010

Love Photography? Get Thee to Arles!

The Rencontres d'Arles is an international photography expo that takes over the city of Arles each summer with seminars, workshops, gallery shows, open-air projections and more. It's Europe's biggest photo festival and, some say, the most important event of its type in the world. The 41st annual festival opens officially today and runs through Sept 19th.

Over the years Arles has played host to many of the most significant figures in photography including Ansel Adams, Brassai, André Kertesz and Nan Goldin. 

This year, the Rencontres features six themed "trails": through Argentina, rock music, film photography, "changeovers," prison life and the sixth with the friends of the LUMA foundation. Each trail begins with a guest of honor or an emblematic show. There are also scores of "off trail" exhibitions.

Mick Jagger is one of the main attractions this year: more than 70 portraits of him are on display, taken by everyone from Cecil Beaton to Annie Leibovitz. The images trace Jagger's life from the 1960s until today and festival organizers are hoping that he will put in a personal appearance. 

Other highlights will include a selection of works by Vienna-born Ernst Haas, made using Kodachrome slide film. One of the photographers of the legendary agency Magnum, Haas is known for his innovations in color photography. 

Another important show is a first-ever French retrospective for 90-year-old Argentine artist Leon Ferrari.

Evening screenings begin Monday night, July 5th. 

"The Night of the Year" of a 14-screen photo trail around Arles that runs from 8 p.m. until dawn on Friday July 9th.

The Rencontres has seen visitor numbers rise by an average of 20 percent a year since 2001, with a record 72,000 people attending last year.
You can see a quick video introduction to the festival here.   

For all the info: www.rencontres-arles.com04 90 96 76 06 or


  1. The photography festival sounds
    so wonderful! If only I could
    go! Thank you for sharing! I have
    learned so much from your wonderful

    Flora Doora

  2. Thanks for telling us about this. Had I know I would have included Arles in my travels this summer! But, too late. Rats. If I want to know what's happening in Provence, I have to drop in here first!

  3. Julie - goodie - thanks for reminding me about this. I went last year, the exhibition space and the work was would need a few days to take it all in. And a perfect excuse to visit St R. xx Freda

  4. I have a list of festivals I want to make it to in France (Like the lemon festival in Menton!)... my list just got longer.



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