Pierre et Gilles Naufragé - Ludovic, 1985 © Pierre et Gilles. Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.
Pierre et Gilles Naufragé - Ludovic, 1985 © Pierre et Gilles. Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. 

La photographie française existe... Je l'ai rencontrée

07/03/2018 - 20/05/2018

Maison Européenne de la Photographie 
5/7, rue de Fourcy 
 
75004 Paris

www.mep-fr.org   

 
In the early 1980s, not long after the creation of the Mois de la Photo, I was staying in New York and was hoping to meet John Szarkowski, the MoMA’s legendary Director of Photography. I was completely unknown to him, but he demonstrated that legendary availability that is the mark of the true American professional, swiftly setting up a meeting with me. At the end of this friendly one-on-one, I bravely yet timidly asked him about his thoughts on young French photography. His answer: It doesn’t exist. Issued without an ounce of provocation and as naturally as can be, these few words would become a driving obsession of my career. And now, thirty years later, as I ready myself to leave my post at the head of the MEP, and with Paris having earned its place as a major player on the world photography scene, I felt it was time to offer a form of rebuttal to this comment. To illustrate what was at the time the up and-coming young French photography, I have dived into the MEP’s exceptional collection, selecting the works of photographers that I have met and loved. These choices are highly subjective, influenced by my personal history, and though I have forgotten some and others could not to be found, it is also full of strong statements. For I can now say it with pride, French photography does exist, I was fortunate enough to meet it and even to sometimes accompany it.”
Jean-Luc Monterosso Director of the MEP and curator of the exhibit

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