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15 July 2014

Raymond Depardon, The presence of a lost generation

When Raymond Depardon photographed France’s villages and neighbourhoods during a five-year period, it was difficult for his lense not to regularly encounter monuments to the dead, given that they are such a part of towns’ landscapes. On the occasion of the centenary of World War I, the Rencontres presents for these photographs for the first time. There is nothing to be done, neither the lyrical flights of some of their sculptures, nor Depardon’s beautiful light and colours have an effect: these monuments are condensed cemeteries, an unpleasant scar in often bucolic landscapes. We would like the memory that we here impose makes us reflect on humanity’s convulsive jolts. Delicately, with the depth of his large format images, Raymond Depardon seems to invite us to once again look at what we perhaps no longer looked at with the same degree of seriousness. With the lighting particular to him, he sublimates with modesty and simplicity this hymn to a lost generation, this latent pain that time cannot alleviate, so as to prevent history repeating itself.


François Hébel



Prints by Central Dupon Images, Paris.

Framing by Circad, Paris.



Exhibition venue: église des Frères-Prêcheurs, Rencontres d’Arles 2014.