5 good reasons to go to “Les Rencontres d’Arles”

One of these reasons alone could be enough for you, but we’re offering you five… The 47th edition of the Rencontres d’Arles, a major international event for photography, opens its doors this Monday 4 July 2016 and runs until 25 September. How do you choose between 40 exhibitions, 3 600 photos and 20 locations? As the festival’s official partner, YellowKorner will help you decide.

1. To become an expert in the latest trends in contemporary art photography

Revisit the greats of cinema, understand how to approach street photography, discover an offbeat Africa that is full of surprises, or find out more about new practices in documentary photography… A one-of-a-kind event worldwide, the Festival d’Arles serves as an observatory for you to come and discover contemporary photographic creation. This year, the absence of an overarching theme allows 11 photographic sequences to be opened up to artists that have been chosen for their storytelling abilities. The calibre of these artists will leave you with plenty of inspiring ideas to take away.

2. To stroll around the secrets of Arlesian heritage, thanks to exceptional exhibition locations

Visiting the Rencontres d’Arles also means experimenting with a new mode of tourism. Chapels, train stations, industrial zones, a cloister dating from the 12th century… the photographs are often shown in magical venues, some of which are only accessible during the Festival. The photogenicism of Arlesian heritage will be one of the highlights of your stay.

This year, the Rencontres d’Arles will surprise regular festival-goers with the opening of five new venues: the former Collège Mistral that will host the Salon du Livre de La Photo Cosmos Arles Books, Ground Control, a 700 m2 industrial wasteland located near the central train station, the Hôtel de Luppé, the Fondation Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, and the Fondation LUMA, based on the former SNCF workshops dating from the 19th century and recently renovated.

3. To discover famous photographers and tomorrow’s budding talents

The Festival allows you to discover the work of historic and renowned photographers, such as Sid Grossman, Ethan Levitas and Garry Winogrand, this year, but also young artists.

The Rencontres d’Arles dedicates considerable space to the young talents of today and tomorrow, particularly via the Discovery Award, through which you can explore an exhibition featuring ten young and promising artists, but also Photos Folio Review, a portfolio-reading event supported by YellowKorner, which enables an artist selected by a jury to be presented at Arles the following year.  This year, you can discover the “radical” portraits of the 2015 winner: Pierro Martinello.

4. To rediscover the cinematic potential of the Camargue area 

Johnny Hallyday on a horse traversing the great plains of the Camargue: this image might surprise you. It is one of the sequences of the Rencontres d’Arles – Western Stories – devoted to westerns, particularly westerns set in the Camargue. You might learn that the Camargue gave rise to the very first westerns in film history, such as Pendaison à Jefferson City [A Hanging in Jefferson City] (1910).

Attending the Festival de Photo d’Arles is also about (re)discovering the wild and cinematic landscapes of the Camargue. You might even find a great place to express your photographic talents.

5. To dream that you’re a photographer for the time of your visit 

Finally, the Rencontres d’Arles affords an opportunity to meet a diverse audience of professional photographers, passionate amateurs and curious tourists… In 2015, the festival hosted over 93 000 visitors in all. Regardless of your profile, you’ll always find someone near at hand to help develop your views on photography or your own practice. Under the southern sun and the song of the cicadas, perhaps you yourself will dream of becoming the photographer of the future.

So, are you booking your tickets?


See you next week to discover our second article on this series dedicated to the Rencontres d’Arles, within the framework of the partnership between the festival and YellowKorner. For the occasion of the “Street Vibes” exhibition, resonating with the Festival and presented in YellowKorner galleries from 11 July, we will help you discover the entrancing photographs of a magical nocturnal Tokyo, immortalised by Japanese photographer Masashi Wakui. 

Picture by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, June 2010 for the magazine Toiletpaper, published by Damiani.

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