June 26, 2013 - Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap) - Images Like Birds: a journey through the photography collection
June 26, 2013

Images Like Birds: a journey through the photography collection

Balthasar Burkhard, Mexico, 1999. Photograph. Collection of Centre national des arts plastiques, FNAC 02-243. © Balthasar Burkhard / CNAP.

Des Images Comme des Oiseaux (Images Like Birds)
A journey through the photography collection of the Centre national des arts plastiques
July 6–September 29, 2013

La Friche La Belle De Mai
41 Rue Jobin, 13003 Marseille
France
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 1pm–7pm,
Friday until 10pm

T +33 (0)4 95 04 95 04

www.lafriche.org
www.cnap.fr
www.mp2013.fr

As part of Marseille-Provence 2013 and the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles

Rediscover the history of contemporary photography by viewing one of Europe’s most important photography collections.

For this exhibition, photographer Patrick Tosani was invited to review the 12,000 works in the photography collection of the Centre national des arts plastiques (National Centre for Visual Arts or CNAP). He has selected 676 photographs by 181 artists, creating a kind of atlas without a key. He has set in motion these images, which are considered “force fields,” to quote German historian Karl Sierek, who wrote Images oiseaux. Aby Warburg et la théorie des medias (Birds Images. Aby Warburg and Media Theory). The exhibition features masterpieces by renowned photographers, as well as works that have rarely or never gone on show before.    

Patrick Tosani worked together with Pierre Giner, who designed the scenography, the exhibition, and the special projection format for a group of selected images. The remarkable approach to present these latter photographs is put in parallel with a digital display device that will randomly broadcast works from the CNAP’s archive so as to rethink exhibition layout and further extend it. A selection of 1,000 photographic images will hence be presented in the form of an endless “video wall.”

The layout avoids prioritising photographers and photographic genres by focusing on the mounting process and unexpected interactions between images. This scenography is a way of approaching different kinds of photographic practices in an entertaining way. The exhibition will allow the public to witness a photographer’s sensitive approach to the diversity of the CNAP’s collection. Since the late 1980s, this state-owned collection, the Fonds national d’art contemporain, expanded and promoted by the CNAP, has monitored the evolution of photography in France and abroad. This has led to an eclectic collection that reflects the Centre’s desire to offer an overview of different practices affecting this medium, which is essential to the history of contemporary art.

The CNAP and Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture
The exhibition Des images comme des oiseaux reflects the CNAP’s desire to develop a network of regional partnerships promoting its collections and paving the way for new loans and deposits in museums and institutions. The Centre is supporting European Capital of Culture events with several loans: to Marseille’s Fonds régional d’art contemporain Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regional contemporary art fund), Musée Cantini, Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations or MuCEM), and Musée d’art contemporain (Museum of Contemporary Art or MAC); and Avignon’s Palais des Papes and Château. The Centre is also supporting the Grand Atelier du Midi, a major exhibition.

Des images comme des oiseaux is co-produced by the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP), the Friche la Belle de Mai and Marseille-Provence 2013. The exhibition will take place in association with the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles.

 

Images Like Birds: a journey through the photography collection of the Centre national des arts plastiques
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