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Tradition and transgression at Arles photo festival

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-07-06

One of France’s most important photo events opens Tuesday in the southern town of Arles. This year, tradition, with iconic Paris photographer Willy Ronis, meets transgression, as Nan Goldin returns with her New York prints.

The Arles photography festival opens on Tuesday with a focus on one of France's giants of photography, 98-year-old Willy Ronis, famous for his snaps of Paris in the 1940s and 1950s.

“The doyen of French photographs has not been honoured by an important exhibition for a long time,” said the festival's director, François Hebel. A selection of 80 of Ronis's works will be presented in the southern French town.

On the 40th anniversary of the photography get-together, organizers have chosen to invite US photographers Duane Michals and Nan Goldin once more for a festival themed “40 years of meetings, 40 years of ruptures”.


Back in 1987, Goldin had shocked and delighted viewers in Arles with a screening of photos put to music, a sort of visual diary on intimacy, drugs and violence.

This year, Goldin returns with new works and her personal collection of photos.

The sprawling Arles festival numbers some 60 exhibitions, on show until September 13. Visitors will be invited to discover recent works by famed British artist Martin Parr and Catalan Joan Fontcuberta.

Former festival directors, such as Martin Parr and Christian Lacroix, will also be presenting young artists competing for the important Découverte prize.

Editor Robert Delpire, who created a famed small collection called “photo-poche”, will also tell visitors about his career as an editor, exhibition organizer and producer.

Date created : 2009-07-06