Jul 13 Nov 18, 2024


The Challenges of Photography
Harold Edgerton, La goutte de lait, Milk Drop Coronet, 1957


Jul 13 Nov 18, 2024


Galerie 2


Sam Stourdzé, director of the Académie de France in Rome, Villa Medici

The challenge posed by the emergence of photography for the 19th century arts were defined in the historical essay written by Walter Benjamin in 1935, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, the desacralisation of the artwork by making it instantly and infinitely reproducible. While the notion of reproduction is central to the photographic process, artists have continually attempted to reinvent its parameters, be they formal or conceptual. Constantin Brancusi did not photograph his own works for documentary purposes, but in order to give form to what he thought about his sculptures. The multiple views that he took of his works in his studio revealed his aim when it came to their mise en scène, in which no detail was left to chance, from the position of the base to the lighting and the colour of the backgrounds in order to control the light. Indeed, during his final years he dedicated himself entirely to this activity, without embarking on any new series.

The exhibition SEE/THE TIME/IN COLOUR. The Challenges of Photography looks at history of photography by examining the very nature of the medium, in the context of the major increase in digital images. In this investigation, Sam Stourdzé, the exhibition’s curator, draws on friction, hybridisation, contamination and confrontation, breaking down the boundaries of the discipline.