When did we stop loving photography? Never! That impactful year has left behind only desires: the desire to meet again, to hug each other, to kiss, to patch up the past. Photography is a wonderful, and safe, “carrier”: only that it’s there to infect us with emotions; to share with those who love it, those who make it, as well as those who are in it.
“Photography allows us to grow fond of strangers who have suddenly entered our lives, as if they were a part of the family,” wrote tenderly the journalist Brigitte Ollier, probably the person who speaks about it in most beautifully. She has found not only the right words, but the sentiment she expresses rings as true in the twenty-first as it did in the nineteenth century.
The Rencontres d’Arles opens this week with a program of 35 exhibitions. We have naturally chosen to start our coverage with Sabine Weiss. Who could better kick of this season than a humanist with images friends we don’t know yet and who will make us happy? In 1950, she photographed three children with angelic faces at Porte de Saint Cloud. One of them had four front teeth missing: she has the most charming smile, the charm of imperfection. Like all those who have lived through the Covid pandemic, who have been affected by it, but whose only desire is to be as happy as ever.
In Arles, this year, there will be no parties: due to restrictions. Or, at least, that’s what the festival organizers have announced. We count on you to disobey.
By Jonas Cuénin
More information on the Rencontres d’Arles here.