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The Portrait(s) Parade in Vichy

For its 11th edition, the French Vichy's Portrait(s) festival focuses on the expressive power of the body. The summer event continues to deliver discoveries and tributes to photographic artists, for free and for all.

Among the 9 exhibitions, the festival features a major retrospective of Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf, with some 50 photographs including his best-known series, and, for the first time in France, the work of Belgian photographer Jacques Sonck and his black-and-white street photography portraits.

Paradise Portraits, Matt, 2002 © Erwin Olaf

Vanity Fair, Felipe II, Olivier Theyskens II, 2019 © Erwin Olaf

Untitled, Studio, 1993 © Jacques Sonck, Courtesy Gallery FIFTY

Letizia Le Fur presents a pop, offbeat view of the city of Vichy and its inhabitants. She signs Cinq Étoiles Production's residency with eccentric portraits of senior citizens against the backdrop of Kafka's thought that "happiness suppresses old age".

Quadrille. Dominique © Letizia Le Fur

Jean- Claude et Danielle. Quadrille © Letizia Le Fur

While Stéphane Lavoué went to meet the young faces of France's military academies, Gilles Leimdorfer worked on the Miss France pageant. He tracked down former contestants from 1965 to 1985. A touching pictorial account of these women in their sixties, far removed from the glitz and glamour of their youth.

Young enlisted man, soldier in the field at the Centre de Formation Initiale des Militaires du rang (CFIM) in Bitche (Moselle) © Stéphane Lavoué / Grande Commande Photojournalisme. These photographs were produced as part of the major national commission "Radioscopie de la France: regards sur un pays traversé par la crise sanitaire", financed by the French Ministry of Culture and managed by BnF.

Brigitte Konjovic, Miss France 1979 Press clipping detail © Gilles Leimdorfer / Grande Commande Photojournalisme. These photographs were produced as part of the major national commission "Radioscopie de la France: regards sur un pays traversé par la crise sanitaire", financed by the French Ministry of Culture and managed by BnF.

Sonia Perin, Miss France 1975. Her Miss France crown. Gilles Leimdorfer / Grande Commande Photojournalisme. These photographs were produced as part of the major national commission "Radioscopie de la France: regards sur un pays traversé par la crise sanitaire", financed by the French Ministry of Culture and managed by BnF.

This year, the spotlight is also on the image professions. The festival showcases the work of photographers' agents and producers. Two exhibitions pay tribute to these behind-the-scenes professions, including a group show featuring 12 artists from the Lambert Lambert agency, including Charlotte Krieger, Benni Valsson, Kourtney Roy and Vincent Fournier.

Breki & Starri - Nature Baths Mývatn, Iceland 2013 © Benni Valsson

© Laura Pelissier, Courtesy Lambert Lambert

Festival
Portrait(s) in Vichy, France, until October 1, 2023, free admission.

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