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22 May 2017

Ethan Levitas/Garry Winogrand, Rencontres d’Arles 2016


I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.
Garry Winogrand

Photograph of the officer because of this photograph.
Ethan Levitas

Pairing the pioneering and complementary oeuvres of Ethan Levitas and Garry Winogrand, this exhibition re-examines street photography through its own language and terms in order to situate it properly within the open field of contemporary art practice.

Hailed by John Szarkowski as the central photographer of his generation, Winogrand’s contribution to street photography is widely acknowledged, if only partly understood. He worked within the realm of observational practice before understanding that through photography he was creating a new reality that was derived, but distinct, from the real world. By the end of his career, he had shifted the paradigm of street photography to a point where pictures became events in and of themselves, with the artist playing the role of both observer and protagonist, but he died before fully realising its potential.

An inheritor of Winogrand’s unfinished legacy, Levitas has, over the past decade, developed and extended the practice of street photography by defining it as a relation of parts — the sum of which discloses a dissonance between visibility and appearance. His works specifically utilise the photographer’s own agency, which he has signified, conceptualised, and applied. What does it mean to look? Can meaning be created through the act of looking? Among Levitas’s bodies of work are In Advance of a Broken Arm, Ten-Year Study, and Photographs in 3 Acts —a loose trilogy through which we can more clearly comprehend the significance of Winogrand’s endeavour, and see a fulfilment of its promise.
Joshua Chuang

Exhibition curator: Joshua Chuang.
With support from IDTGV.
With the cooperation of the Estate of Garry Winogrand, the Center for Creative Photography (Tucson), Fraenkel Gallery (San Francisco),and Galerie Jean-Kenta Gauthier (Paris).
Prints of Ethan Levitas realised in collaboration with Laumont Photographics, New York.
Framing partly by Atelier Deuxième Œil, Plasticollage, and Circad, Paris.
Wallpaper by Processus, Paris.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle.