Jean Rouch and Damouré Zika during the shooting of Jaguar, Gold Coast (Ghana), 1954
BnF, Manuscripts Department © Fondation Jean-Rouch
from September 26, 2017 to November 26, 2017 François-Mitterrand / Donors’ gallery
Jean Rouch would have been 100 in 2017. The exhibition « Jean Rouch, l’Homme-cinéma » brings to light the life and work of an unclassifiable man who was both an explorer, an ethnographer, a photographer and a filmmaker.
Producer of 180 films, most of the time shot in Africa, Jean Rouch established unique connections between between cinema and ethnography. In his hands, the camera has become a new investigation tool about men, their beliefs and their imaginary worlds. Flouting the notion of neutrality in science, Jean Rouch assumed with cheerfulness his subjectivity and the pleasure to establish a relationship with the persons he shot.
Even if his area of study was located on another continent, his films Les maîtres fous (1957), Moi, un Noir (1959), Chronique d'un été (1960) came like a bolt from the blue for French cinema, at the dawn of the Nouvelle Vague.
All his life long, Jean Rouch remained attached to moving and autonomic cameras; and to a collective work favouring freedom of invention during the shooting. So, he foreshadowed processes that are often used today.
Co-produced by the BnF and the CNC, the exhibition presents numerous excerpts of restored films and a variety of documents that belong, for the major part of them, to the rich collection housed by the BnF: photographs, notes, letters... This exhibition is also an opportunity to recreate the affective and sensitive personality of a man who was a great storyteller and a cheerful character.
A coproduction of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC). In the framework of the Centenaire Jean Rouch 2017, with the support of the Fondation Jean Rouch and of the Comité du film ethnographique.
In the framework of Paris Photo.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017