The first exhibitions of the Rentrée in Paris were held last week at Maison Européenne de la Photographie and there were three openings at the same time. The French artists Anne and Patrick Poirier are showing old and new photographs “Vagabondages argentiques, 50 ans de bricolage photographique”, the Burmese-Indian father and son Richard and Pablo Bartholomew are exhibited in parallel in “Affinités” and 44 year old Chinese artist Liu Bolin introduces us to his “Ghost stories”. It is a fireworks of talent organised by Jean-Luc Monterosso, director of MEP.
Anne and Patrick Poirier have been around for a while but this week marks the explosion of their work at MEP with colored photographs from Selinunte, shot in the summer of 1974 and more recent ones from the « Archives » series. They were both present at the opening, having travelled from their paradise of Lourmarin in the Lubéron.
They also have an exhibition of models at galerie Mitterrand, on rue du Temple and Flammarion is publishing a book on their career with MEP, which sums up their photographic work as well as their sculptures and installations. It is particularly interesting since it shows their marble sculptures in their own garden, their different installations in Carrara, Torino, Pistoia, Quarrata and Mantova, in Italy, and “Mnemosyne “, part of what they call Architecture of memory. But their series of pyramids and marble ruins is what touches me the most. Whether in plaster or in Sèvres porcelain, they mark a very special time in their career.
Laure Martin cocurator of the show and editor of the book, has been working on this celebration for three years with Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand, their galerist, and Laurie Hurwitz from MEP.
The father, Richard, emigrated as a teen ager from Burma (under Japanese occupation) to New Delhi where he became a major agent of the artistic scene, eventually running the House of Tibet in the late sixties and taking the treasures of the Dalai Lama to New York. The son, Pablo, followed on his steps as a photographer. It is sometimes hard to know who took what picture as they are exhibited in parallel…
As the curator of the show Rémi Ryterband had to explain, all pictures framed with a passe partout are by the father, all others are by the son. Pablo is definitely less artistic and more reportage (he worked for Gamma Liaison) and his series shot on the streets of Delhi are very dark as are his photos of child victims in Bhopal which won him the World Press photographer of the year award in 1984. He photographed the Naga tribes in North Eastern India but also the Indian diaspora in France. He published a book and is managing his father’s long forgotten photos.
The strength of his pictures is in stark contrast to his father’s subtle elegance and he has retrained great charm as a person throughout his dramatic stories. He will be back in Paris in October for a new project.
Chinese photographer Liu Bolin works on dissimulation within the city and is showing his very trendy photographs on the third floor. He is represented by Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery in China.
(Until October 29, at MEP, 5/7 rue de Fourcy in the Marais and “Anne and Patrick Poirier”, Flammarion/MEP, 49€)
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