André Mérian – Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2009
Presented by Bernard Miller. Heritage curator and cultural affairs adviser to the president of the Bouches-du-Rhône Departement. General manager of the Rencontres d’Arles from 1995 to 1998.
In May 2006 the French Cultural Centre in Damascus invited me to work on a series of urban landscape photographs of the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo.
Beforehand I held a workshop with the students of the Damascus School of Art on this theme, which also let me do some location spotting. At first my Western ‘urban references’ were disrupted, leaving me unsettled.
This body of photographs is a questioning of the landscape form, of the mutation of destruction/construction; sometimes I felt I was in a space where a war had just ended, tense and in suspense, yet paradoxically tranquil.
Exhibition produced in 2006 with the backing of the French Cultural Centre of Damas.
André Mérian is represented by Les Douches Galery, Paris and abroad by the VanKranendonk
gallery in The Hague, Netherlands.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2009.