May 30, 2010 - Centre de la photographie Genève - La Revanche de L’archive Photographique
May 30, 2010

La Revanche de L’archive Photographique

Mathieu Pernot
Un camp pour les Bohémiens
“Roger Demetrio, 1944, collection archives départementales des Bouches du Rhône”

Centre de la photographie Genève
La Revanche de L’archive Photographique
4 June – 31 July 2010

Opening : 3 June 2010, 6 pm

Bâtiment d’art contemporain
28, rue des Bains
1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Opening hours : Tues-Sun 11.00-18.00

With the participation of :
Claudia Andujar, Arab Image Foundation, Roy Arden, Ariella Azoulay, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Mabe Bethônico, Ursula Biemann, Christian Boltanski, Marcelo Brodsky, Banu Cennetoglu, Martin Dammann, Michele Dantini, Silvie & Chérif Defraoui, Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane, documentation céline duval, Dora Garcia, Jochen Gerz, Catherine Gfeller, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Lois Hechenblaikner, Edward Hillel, Jacob Holdt, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Armin Linke, Susan Meiselas, Gustav Metzger, Gabriele & Helmut Nothhelfer, Uriel Orlow, Mathieu Pernot, Peter Piller, Walid Raad, Ricardo Rangel, Rosângela Rennó, Guadalupe Ruiz, Marie Sacconi, Joachim Schmid, Sean Snyder, Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel, UMAM Documentation & Research, Meir Wigoder and Akram Zaatari.

There are two main reasons linked to archives that have allowed photography to attain the noble level of the museum of fine art.

On the one hand, the artists of the historical avant-gardes used photography as a medium that could touch a wider public than that of art, via the mass media. A number of their protagonists, such as Hannah Höch, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy or Alexander Rodchenko, among others, secretly kept archives of photographs.

On the other hand, museums of fine art started to highlight works by photographers who were aspiring to constitute archives through their photographic documents. Eugène Atget is the first in this lineage. His work inventorying Old Paris served as a model for Walker Evans and Berenice Abbott. In the post-war era the “inventory” of the German population at the time of the Weimar Republic by August Sander was an example for Bernd & Hilla Becher in particular. All these photographers were involved in what Walker Evans calls the “documentary style”, one of the characteristics of which is in fact the ambition to set up an archive. Today, the nature of the photographic archive interests a growing number of photographers and artists. Confronted with the avalanche of photographs produced daily, more and more producers of images are becoming archivists-iconographers.

LA REVANCHE DE L’ARCHIVE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE takes stock of this infinitely rich field that resonates closely with “Visual Culture”. By considering the period from the 1970s to the present day, it reconnects with the spirit of the avant-gardes and also shows a range of works that are all closely or distantly related to political art or art policy.

This show goes beyond the framework of a conventional exhibition of photographs. It offers not only a broadening outside the field of contemporary art, by including stances reflecting political militancy, anthropology or photo-reportage, and also showing photographic productions from the most varied points of view.

LA REVANCHE DE L’ARCHIVE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE constitutes the central focus of the 50JPG festival (50 Jours pour la photographie à Genève), a triennial devoted to photography initiated by the Centre de la photographie Genève in 2003. Each triennial uses photography to question a contemporary set of problems. After REPRÉSENTATION DU TRAVAIL/TRAVAIL DE REPRÉSENTATION in 2003 and PHOTO-TRAFIC in 2006, the 3rd edition is focusing on the theme of the photographic archive.

Around its keynote exhibition LA REVANCHE DE L’ARCHIVE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE, the Centre de la photographie Genève brings together about thirty institutions, art galleries and alternative spaces in the region that are staging photographic exhibitions. These come within the thematic scope of photographic archives (IN section), or offer photographic exhibitions outside that theme (OFF section).

The festival 50JPG also includes :
• a symposium “From one archive to another”, organized with the Haute école d’art et de design – Genève, on 4 – 5 June
• a portfolioreview FOTOBILD set up for the first time in Geneva on 12 – 14 June (registrations on
• screenings and lectures

More details on

Centre de la photographie Genève

Centre de la photographie Genève
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