Rencontres d'Arles 2007
After the Depardon maelstrom, our joy at the success achieved (52,000 visitors, 20% of them foreign; overall, a 50% rise on 2005) was tinged with concerns: what future could we invent so as not to lose the impetus generated and the movement that had carried us along. This perplexity definitely has a starry-eyed “forever onwards and upwards” side to it.
But is it an option to do otherwise, planning from year to year a sudden change of pace – a slow movement for the peace of body and soul, after a few crazy high-tempo numbers? Pierre Barouh writes on the discs of his Saravah label a pensée that has become famous: Il y a des années où l’on a envie de ne rien faire (“There are years when you feel like doing nothing”). Even for supporters of economic “degrowth”, this appealing suggestion is hard to implement. And you don’t know François Hébel and the Rencontres teams very well if you can imagine them ironing crumpled clothes while they wait for the next wedding. Listening to creators and aspiring to change and inventiveness calls for limitless impatience and the absolute need to encounter more people, to find out more, to look further, to see and see again, fearing only an unthinkable loss of desire and the familiar threat of a cruising speed fit for laidback holidaymakers. Continuing means doing more and being better, and only responding to the everlasting questions – “How will you manage? Is there life after Parr and Depardon? Who will be the new artistic director? Quick, a name!” – by inventing new pleasures and fresh discoveries. Thus it was in 2005, the year of a magnificent edition of the Rencontres, which François Hébel devised and set to music and images without relying on a deus ex machina. We didn’t fall back on our own strengths; rather, we adopted another kind of openness, more attentive to the diversity of artists’ eyes. And this kind of alternation is, we feel, suitable. So the 2007 Rencontres will be a well: the water of lives and cities, drawn from the creative springs. Whereas 2006 revolved around one man, his artistic siblings and the French-speaking world, 2007 will venture far afield, to China and India, in search of a living history of modern and contemporary times.
From jully the 3rd until September the 16th
Source Rencontres d'Arles