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Cultural events

Raymond Depardon: a personal vision of France


from September 30, 2010 to January 9, 2011 François-Mitterrand / Large gallery

Raymond Depardon is famous for his illustrated reports on socially deprived inner city areas, for his numerous books presenting images interwoven in the text, but also for his films about everyday life in a changing society. The artist definitely knows no limits. Film-maker as well as photographer, he never sacrifices ethics to images.

 He has formerly often photographed various regions of France; this time, he was possessed by the crazy and deep-rooted idea of travelling around France and using a 7 x 9 photographic chamber to portray the country.

A traveller through and through, Depardon set himself the task which has been leading him around the country since 2004. According to the seasons and quality of light, he wishes to portray regions that everyone would long to see « as much as » unattractive places.

He focuses on the consequences of urban development in the second half of the 20th century: factories for sale on the periphery of cities surrounded by dozens of car parks, peri-urban areas that swallow up small cities and villages, overexploitation of coastal and high mountain areas...

« I visited very different places, with very different stories. I’ve made it a rule to keep a distance from the subject which allowed me to consider regionalistic specificities and try to tell our common story of everyday life. »

The main features of Depardon’s full of empathy former works were the contrast effects of black and white photographs and the use of a dynamic depth of field. This time, he preferred frontality and the use of the photographic chamber, colour, and a soft, neutral and unique light. The photographer sometimes preferred landscapes to human beings; however, it is a way « to focus on human influence which modified landscapes throughout history. »

A series of 36 very large silver prints are presented to visitors in a large exhibition area. Raymond Depardon has polished them during four years using the best digital scanners.

The second part of the exhibition is devoted to Raymond Depardon’s predecessors, especially Walker Evans and Paul Strand. Essays and preparatory works also allow to grasp the origin of the project, follow in the artist’s footsteps and get behind the curtain.

Exhibition set up with the support of La Mutuelle des Architectes français assurances and Champagne Louis Roederer

The project  La France de Raymond Depardon (Raymond Depardon – A personal vision of France) was set up with the support of HSBC France, the founding partner of La Mutuelle des Architectes français assurances, of the Centre national des arts plastiques, Magnum Photos and Palmeraie et Désert.

 In the framework of Paris Photo ( and the Mois de la Photo à Paris, November 2010. 

Guided tours for individuals and groups. Fees, information and reservation at 00 33 (1) 53 79 49 49

Educational activities:

Educational activities

On the occasion of the exhibitions Raymond Depardon: a personal vision of France and France 14, the Department of educational activities organises a private viewing intended to teachers on 6 October, wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p;m., presenting the exhibitions and connected activities.


Monday, September 27, 2010

See also


l’article de Chroniques, le magazine de la BnF, n°55 [fichier .pdf – 788 Ko – 20/09/10 – 3 p.]