MMM by Martin Parr & Matthieu Chedid

Strolling in the chapels of the Èglise des Frères-Prêcheurs during this year’s Rencontres d’Arles festival was a fresh experience. Under the vaulted ceilings of the 15th century gothic church, photography and music comes into play in the exhibition of Martin Parr, called « MMM » in collaboration with French pop musician Matthieu Chedid. 

As in past years, the Rencontres d’Arles festival organizes exhibitions which are scattered at various heritage sites. At « MMM »,  more than 500 photographs of the British photographer are shown in dedicated sections, distributed with speakers playing nine  unique soundtracks. offering a retrospect of Parr in an unexpected approach. On top of the displays of photographs, the use of projections In this year’s Recontres d’Arles also delivers extra dimensions to the understanding of Parr’s work. 

Martin Parr
Martin Parr is a prominent figure in the world of contemporary photography, recognised with his satiric approach and humour infused to his works. He has been traveling worldwide in order to explore different international phenomena and national characteristics, offering fresh viewpoints for us to look at the world around us. In addition to being a photographer and a curator, he is a passionate collector of photographic books, having published over 80 photobooks over the years. He is a member of Magnum Photos and his works have been widely collected by museums such as J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Metropolitan of Art, Tokyo; and Tate Modern, London. 


A Glimpse of China in the 1950s Under Marc Riboud's Lens

Born in Lyon in 1923 in France, the celebrated photographer Marc Riboud was one of the few foreigners who had the privilege to photograph China in the 1950s and 60s. With close attention to its land, people, politics and cultural setting, his series on China are significant not only in terms of photography, but also in terms of history and culture of China as they unveil realities during Mao-era.

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    © Marc Riboud/Magnum Photos

© Marc Riboud/Magnum Photos

Since his first photograph taken at the age of 13, Riboud has travelled extensively for his photography projects, to India, China, Western Africa, North and South Vietnam, just to name a few. Some of his best-known projects are The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China .

Before heading to China for his extensive projects, Riboud moved to Paris, where he met Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, two of the founders of Magnum Photos. Impressed by Riboud’s works, the two invited him to join the organization. In 1976, Riboud became the President of Magnum, yet he chose to resign three years later in order to pursue his passion for photography and traveling. 

During his numerous trips to China, Riboud had chances to meet Communist leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, as well as people from all walks of life. The above photo was taken at a steel mill in Liaoning province, where a group of engineers were having lunch at the canteen of the factory.

Like Riboud's other photos depicting workers and farmers in 1950s and 60s, this photo captured a daily scene which repeats itself day after day. The subjects appeared to be at ease and focused on what's in front of them. Neither was Riboud too close to the subjects to cause intrusion, nor was he too far to create a sense of detachment. Through Riboud lens, his images are not only important documentation of the society at the time, but they also express Riboud's observation and curiosity toward this country in the East.

For more photos of Riboud on China, please visit Magnum Photos.




Vietnam War in photographs

To mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, THE KENNEDYS museum in Berlin is presenting an exhibition of photographs by Thomas Billhardt from today till September 6.

© Thomas Billhardt · Vietnam · courtesy CAMERA WORK  Exhibition: July 17 - September 6

© Thomas Billhardt · Vietnam · courtesy CAMERA WORK

Exhibition: July 17 - September 6

Similar to the exhibition held in April by the US news agency Associated Press  in London, viewers will find some of the most striking images taken in Vietnam, where it suffered from staggering death tolls and casualties during the tragic climax of Cold War.

However, apart from unveiling the trauma and agony experienced by soliders and cilvilians during the East-West conflict, the pictures also unfold « several beautiful, intimate, and even hopeful moments » captured in Vietnam. As the first war where reporters and photographers were given unrestricted access to the battlefields, the exhibition provides rooms for thoughts on the role of journalism as well as the role of war photography  in modern times.

For more information, please see The Kennedys