Centre Pompidou-Metz dedicates an unprecedented exhibition to the phenomenon and aesthetic of paparazzi photography through more than 600 works (photography, painting, video, sculpture, installation, etc.).
Covering fifty years of celebrities caught in the lens, Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists considers the paparazzo at work by examining the complex and fascinating ties that form between photographer and photographed, going on to reveal the paparazzi influence on fashion photography.
By associating some of the genre's leading names, including Ron Galella, Pascal Rostain and Bruno Mouron, Tazio Secchiaroli, with reflections on this modern-day myth by Richard Avedon, Raymond Depardon, William Klein, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol, Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists sets out to define the paparazzi aesthetic.
A catalogue, jointly published by Centre Pompidou-Metz and Flammarion, accompanies the exhibition.
Clément Chéroux, curator, Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, head of the photography department
Quentin Bajac, chief curator of photography, MoMA, New York
Sam Stourdzé, director, Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne
Curated and produced by Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists will be shown at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt from 27 June to 12 October 2014.
The exhibition is divided into three parts: Photographers, Stars and Artists.
RED CARPET (INTRODUCTION)
The visitor steps into the exhibition space to be immediately confronted with paparazzi flashes from an installation by Malachi Farrell, titled Interview (Paparazzi). Photographs showing a pack of paparazzi "hunting their prey" create a mise en abyme that plunges the visitor into a new role as a star, while giving them a taste of the pressure celebrities are under.
The profession of paparazzo is more complex than it seems. Paparazzi must be ingenious, mounting what are often delicate, high-risk operations. They each have their tricks of the trade and tales to tell which together form the grand story of "paparazzism".
In a series of interviews with paparazzi, a presentation of their tools (including spy cameras, long lenses and disguises), photographs by Francis Apesteguy, Olivier Mirguet, Jessica Dimmock and Christophe Beauregard, and an excerpt from Raymond Depardon's Reporters film, this section goes behind-the-scenes of the paparazzi.
The figure of the paparazzo was invented by Federico Fellini in 1960. The name is a contraction of "pappataci" (mosquitoes) and "ragazzi" (ruffians). The paparazzo is portrayed as a post-modern anti-hero. Since La Dolce Vita, he has become one of the mythical figures of popular culture.
Excerpts from films by Dario Argento, Federico Fellini, Brian De Palma, Louis Malle and Andrzej Zulawski, from the 1930s to the present, reveal the public's perception of the paparazzo as a solitary figure, often down on his luck. Devoid of morals or scruples, and therefore hard to love, he is the double negative of the war correspondent.
The other side
Forms of appropriation
Through the paparazzo's lens
Centre Pompidou-Metz is organising a photo contest to coincide with the exhibition.
It will launch on 26 February at wipplay.com and on the Centre Pompidou-Metz Facebook page.
WIPPLAY invites amateur and professional photographers to take part in photo contests and challenges through a social media platform which is based around cultural events, community initiatives and art trends. WIPPLAY is all at once a simple photo contest which contributes to reveal anonymous talent, a platform where people with a shared passion for images can meet, a track game or a game of speed. It invites users to show their photos online, out in the open, or in galleries, and benefit from the opinion of leading image professionals.