Miriam Rosen

  • Claudine Doury

    Claudine Doury’s bio tells us that she lives and works in Paris, but it would be more accurate to say that she lives and dreams there. As for work, it happens in the faraway places where her dreams, instincts, and friendships take her (aided and abetted by magazine assignments, grants, and awards). The places are often exotic—Crimea, Siberia, Tahiti, Central Asia—but the photos are not, because Doury is a traveler rather than a tourist, a repeated visitor rather than a reporter pressed for time. Russia is a long-standing passion: She learned the language in high school, and her decision

  • “BD Reporters”

    A rose is a rose is a rose, but a bande dessinée is not a comic strip. In the French-speaking world, the BD (for our purposes, a sequential drawing) is held to be nothing less than the Ninth Art, with a noble genealogy going back to the Bayeux tapestry, plus a contemporary network of theorists, critics, publishers, festivals, websites, and art-school programs. Not to mention, of course, the ever-growing numbers of artist-authors who have seized upon the BD as a hybrid zone of experimentation free from the material and mental constraints of the mainstream culture industry. Indeed, the “BD Reporters”

  • Rencontres d’Arles

    Notwithstanding the proverb, French photographer-filmmaker Raymond Depardon is a prophet in his own country. Among the awards he has accumulated are the Grand Prix National de la Photographie and two Césars for his documentary films, not to mention the Order of Agricultural Merit. If one of the rare honors missing from his CV is an exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles photo festival, this is not for any lack of opportunities but because, as he puts it, “I’m someone who’s more passionate about books than exhibits.” Or at least until this year, when Depardon received the offer he couldn’t refuse:

  • Pedro Almodóvar

    During an early round of what has become an ongoing series of marathon conversations with French film critic Frédéric Strauss, Pedro Almodóvar remarked, in passing, “Someday, I’ll manage to make an exhibition of all the objects from my films and all the formal ideas they’ve generated.” Nearly fifteen years later, the objects, the films, and the filmmaker himself have become the subject of “¡Almodóvar Exhibition!” cocurated by Strauss and fellow film critic Matthieu Orléan, head of temporary exhibits at the Cinémathèque Française—not so much an exhibition in the artistic sense as a display

  • Marco Poloni

    There is always more than meets the eye(s) in Marco Poloni’s photos, videos, performances, and the multimedia setups he calls “observation devices” (dispositifs d’observation): All serve to confront us with our perceptual and conceptual blind spots. A particularly concise defense and illustration of the Poloni method is his ninety-second video Mister Locke, . . . , 2002, which dubs a voiceless FBI webcast of what may or may not be a suspected terrorist with an excerpt from the sound track of Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975), where an African opposition leader turns the camera—and

  • Felten-Massinger

    The photographs of Christine Felten and Véronique Massinger call to mind John Berger’s dictum that the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. At first glance, the large-format landscapes and cityscapes the two artists have been making for the past fifteen years in and around their native Belgium recall seventeenth-century Dutch paintings with their panoramic views, low horizons, and cold light, not to mention a strangely varnishlike cast to the colors. At second glance, traces of the present emerge as well, from highways and electrical wires crisscrossing the countryside

  • the Cinémathèque Française

    AFTER TWO DECADES OF GRANDS TRAVAUX, PETTY quarrels, bureaucratic power plays and a latter-day Battle of the Ancients versus the Moderns fed by conflicts of ideas and personal interests, the Cinémathèque Française has seemingly surmounted the difficulties of being a living legend. On September 28, the venerable institution––founded in 1936 by Henri Langlois and three friends who wanted to rescue silent films from the onslaught of the talkies—will reopen in the whimsically postmodern Frank Gehry building originally designed in 1994 for the ill-fated American Center in the Bercy section of Paris.

  • Patrick Faigenbaum

    With all due respect to the artist, the first thing that came to my mind—once the visual and emotional shock of his monumental two-part photo installation “Louvre et Chaussée d’Antin” subsided—was a one-line joke: “What’s the difference between a tailor and a psychoanalyst? One generation.” For the visitor, Patrick Faigenbaum’s artistic variation on the generic saga of the Eastern European Jewish immigrant began with “Palmarès,” 2004, a mosaic of the ten large-format color photos disposed along the wall opposite the entrance to the vast workshoplike space that the Louvre has recently devoted to

  • Tendance Floue

    Soccer matches, traffic jams, diplomatic handshakes, oil slicks, antiglobalization marches, the Eiffel Tower, Kafka’s birthplace, lederhosen, tulips, reindeer: These are just some of the media events, tourist attractions, and cultural clichés you will not see along Nationale Zéro. Rather, this more than 14,000-mile highway winding through the twenty-five countries of the recently enlarged European Union will allow you to discover, among other things, Lithuania’s final resting place for Soviet-era statuary (“Stalin World”), Holland’s Côte d’Azur, the Festival of the Midnight Sun in Lapland,

  • Rencontre d'Arles

    The Rencontres d’Arles was the first—and for many years the foremost—of the international photography festivals. Since its founding in 1970, the annual exhibition has had its ups, downs, and periodic reshufflings, accelerated in recent years by the photography boom in the arts, the market, and the media. Three years ago, newly appointed director François Hébel promised a “change in scale”: more exhibits, more events, more prizes, more private sponsors—and more photographer participation. For this thirty-fifth anniversary, Hébel went a step further, inviting photographer Martin Parr, a longtime

  • Fazal Sheikh

    Most photographs take us back in time. Much rarer are those that follow us into the present with a seeming life of their own. The photos in Fazal Sheikh’s series “A Camel for the Son,” 1992–2000, and “The Victor Weeps,” 1996–98, are among the latter. The first grew out of Sheikh’s encounters with Somali families who had sought refuge in northeast Kenya after the outbreak of civil war in the early ’90s; the second out of his discovery of the three million Afghans who had similarly fled to northern Pakistan to escape the Soviet occupation, the warring mujahidin factions, or the Taliban. But Sheikh

  • Valérie Jouve

    Valérie Jouve’s Synopsis d’un territoire (Synopsis of a Territory), 2003, could be described as the story of the Val-de-Marne, an administrative département southeast of Paris. Or as the story of a public commission for twelve or fifteen photographs which became an installation of 170 images and an accompanying sound track. Or also as the story of a museum in the making, namely the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Vitry-Val-de-Marne, which, in anticipation of its opening in 2005, has created a temporary exhibition “pavilion” on the construction site. However you choose to see it, Synopsis d’un