Rencontres d'Arles

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A photography exhibition, Rencontres d'Arles, 2010

The Rencontres d'Arles (formerly called Rencontres internationales de la photographie d'Arles) is an annual summer photography festival founded in 1970 by the Arles photographer Lucien Clergue, the writer Michel Tournier and the historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette. The Rencontres d’Arles has an international impact by showing material that has never been seen by the public before. In 2013, 96,000 people visited the festival. The specially designed exhibitions, often organised in collaboration with French and foreign museums and institutions, take place in various historic sites. Some venues, such as 12th-century chapels or 19th-century industrial buildings, are open to the public throughout the festival. The Rencontres d’Arles has revealed many photographers, confirming its significance as a springboard for photography and contemporary creativity. In recent years the Rencontres d'Arles has invited many guest curators and entrusted some of its programming to such figures as Martin Parr in 2004, Raymond Depardon in 2006 and the Arles-born fashion designer Christian Lacroix.

A photographer, Jean-Pierre Sudre, discussing his work, Rencontres d'Arles, 1975

Art directors[edit]

The Rencontres d'Arles award winners[edit]


  • Jury: Denis Curti, Alberto Anault, Alice Rose George, Manfred Heiting, Erik Kessels, Claudine Maugendre, Val Williams
  • Discovery Award: Peter Granser
  • No Limit award: Jacqueline Hassink
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Tom Wood
  • Photographer of the year award: Roger Ballen
  • Help to the project: Pascal Aimar, Chris Shaw
  • Author’s Book Award: Sibusiso Mbhele and his Fish Helicopter, Koto Bolofo, Powerhouse Books
  • Help to publishing: « Une histoire sans nom », Anne-Lise Broyer (éditions Filigranes)


  • Jury: Giovanna Calvenzi, Hou Hanru, Christine Macel, Anna Lisa Milella, Urs Stahel
  • Discovery Award: Zijah Gafic
  • No Limit award: Thomas Demand
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Fazal Sheikh
  • Photographer of the year award: Anders Petersen
  • Help to the project: Jitka Hanzlova
  • Author’s Book Award: Hide That Can, Deirdre O’Callaghan, Trolley Publisher London
  • Help to publishing: A Personal Diary of Chinese Avant-Garde in the 1990s, China (1993-1998), Xing Danwen


  • Jury: Eikoh Hosoe, Joan Fontcuberta, Tod Papageorge, Elaine Constantine, Antoine d'Agata
  • Discovery Award: Yasu Suzuka
  • No Limit award : Jonathan de Villiers
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Edward Burtynsky
  • Help to the project: John Stathatos
  • Author’s Book Award: Particulars, David Goldblatt (Goodman Publisher)


  • Jury: Ute Eskildsen, Jean-Louis Froment, Michel Mallard, Kathy Ryan, Marta Gili
  • Discovery Award: Miroslav Tichy
  • No Limit award: Mathieu Bernard-Reymond
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Simon Norfolk
  • Help to the project: Anna Malagrida
  • Author’s Book Award: Temporary Discomfort, Jules Spinatsch (Lars Mueller publisher)


  • Jury: Vincent Lavoie, Abdoulaye Konaté, Yto Barrada, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Alain d’Hooghe
  • Discovery Award: Alessandra Sanguinetti
  • No Limit award: Randa Mirza
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Wang Qingsong
  • Help to the project: Walid Raad
  • Author’s Book Award: « Form aus Licht und Schatten », Heinz Hajek-Halke (Steidl Verlag)



  • Jury: Bice Curiger, Alain Fleischer, Johan Sjöström, Thomas Weski, Anne Wilkes Tucker
  • Discovery Award: Laura Henno
  • Author’s Book Award: Empty Bottles, Thijs Groot Wassink et Ruben Lundgren (Veenman Publishers)
  • History Book Award: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Color in transparency, Jeannine Fiedler (Steidl)



  • Nominateurs: Elisabeth Biondi, Luis Venegas, Nathalie Ours, Caroline Issa et Massoud Golsorkhi, Carla Sozzani
  • Discovery Award: Pieter Hugo
  • Author’s Book Award: Strange and Singular, Michael Abrams (ed. Loosestrife 2007)
  • History Book Award: « Nein Onkel » (ed. Archive of Modern Conflict 2007)
  • History Book Award: « Le vocabulaire technique de la photographie », edited by Anne Cartier Bresson (ed. Marval, 2008)



  • Nominateurs: Lucien Clergue, Bernard Perrine, Alain Desvergnes, Claude Hudelot, Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Louis Mesplé, Bernard Millet, Michel Nuridsany, Joan Fontcuberta, Christian Caujolle, Giovanna Calvenzi, Martin Parr, Christian Lacroix, Arnaud Claass, Christian Milovanoff
  • Discovery Award: Rimaldas Viksraitis
  • Author’s Book Award: From back home, Anders Petersen et Jan Henrich Engström (ed. Bokforlaget Max Strum, 2009)
  • History Book Award: In History, Susan Meiselas (ed. Bokforlaget Max Strum, 2009)


[4] [5]

  • Discovery Award: Taryn Simon
  • LUMA award: Trisha Donnelly
  • Author’s Book Award: Photography 1965-1974, Yutaka Takanashi (Only Photograph, 2010)
  • History Book Award: « Les livres de photographies japonais : des années 1960 et 1970 », Ryuichi Kaneko et Ivan Vartanian (ed. Seuil, 2009)


[6] [7]

  • Discovery Award: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse
  • Author’s Book Award: A Living Man Declared Dead + Other Chapters by Taryn Simon (Mack Books)
  • History Book Award: Works by Lewis Baltz (Steidl)


[8] [9]

  • Discovery Award: Jonathan Torgovnik
  • Author’s Book Award: Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson
  • History Book Award: « Les Livres de photographie d'Amérique latine » by Horacio Fernández


  • Discovery Award: Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré
  • Author’s Book Award: Antoine d'Agata
  • History Book Award: Rosângela Rennó

The festival[edit]

A photography exhibition, Rencontres d'Arles, 2010


Opening week at the Rencontres d’Arles features photography-focused events (projections at night, exhibition tours, panel discussions, symposia, parties, book signings, etc.) in the town’s historic venues, some of which are only open to the public during the festival. Memorable events in recent years include Europe Night (2008), an overview of European photography; Christian Lacroix’s fashion show for the festival’s closing (2008); and Patti Smith’s concert for the Vu agency’s 20th anniversary (2006).

Nights at the Roman Theatre[edit]

At night, work by a photographer or a photography expert is projected in the town’s open-air Roman theatre accompanied by concerts and performances. Each event is a one-off creation. In 2009, 8,500 people attended evenings at the Roman theatre, an average of 2,000 a night, and 2,500 were there on closing night, when the Tiger Lilies played during a projection of Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”. In 2013 over 6,000 people attended the nighttime photography projections, an average of approximately 1,000 each night.

The Night of the Year[edit]

The Night of the Year, which was created in 2006, is a festive event in the streets of Arles, where visitors can walk around to see the year’s work by photographers from the press, agencies and collectives on 14 screens.

Symposia and panel discussions[edit]

Photographers and professionals participating in symposia and panel discussions during opening week discuss their work or issues raised by the images on display. In recent years the themes included whether a black-and-white aesthetic is still conceivable in photography (2013); the impact of social networks on creativity and information (2011); breaking with past, a key idea for photography today (2009); photography commissions: freedom or constraint (2008); challenges and changes in the photography market (2007).

The Rencontres d’Arles awards[edit]

Since 2002 the Rencontres d’Arles awards have been an opportunity to discover new talents. In 2007 the number of annual awards was reduced to three, presented at the closing ceremony of the festival’s professional week: the Discovery Award (€25,000), Author’s Book Award (€8,000) and History Book Award (€8,000).

Photo Folio Review & Gallery[edit]

Since 2006 aspiring photographers have been able to submit their portfolios to international photography experts in various fields, including publishers, exhibition curators, heads of institutions, agency directors, gallery owners, collectors, critics and photo editors, for appraisal during the festival’s opening week. Photo Folio Review & Gallery offers them an opportunity to show their work throughout the festival.

Photography classes[edit]

The Rencontres d’Arles has always been a place where professional photographers and practitioners on every level have been able to meet each other and exchange ideas. Each year, photography class participants undertake a personal journey of creation through photography’s aesthetic, ethical and technological issues. Leading photographers such as Guy le Querrec, Antoine d’Agata, Martin Parr, René Burri and Joan Fontcuberta regularly teach at the Rencontres d’Arles.

Rentrée en Images[edit]

“Rentrée en Images” has been a key part of the festival’s educational activities since 2004. During the first two weeks in September, special mediators take students from the primary to graduate school level on guided tours of the exhibitions. Based on the festival’s programming, the event aims to introduce young people to the visual arts and fits in with a wider policy of cultural democratisation. “Rentrée en Images” reaches thousands of students, and for many of them it is their first exposure to contemporary art.


Public funding accounted for 48% of the 2013 festival’s €6.3-million budget, sales (mainly of tickets and derivative products), 35% and private partnerships, 17%.

Executive Committee[edit]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′42″N 4°37′33″E / 43.67833°N 4.62583°E / 43.67833; 4.62583