The director of the Musee des beaux-arts, le Locle shares what made this year for her - and what she's looking forward to
Although I enjoy the diversity in photography that platforms like Instagram have brought in and support the concept that “Everyone is a photographer”, I firmly believe that there is a space for professional photography. Running a fine art museum in Switzerland, I think that photography exhibitions play an important role today. They make people think about images, take a distance from them, reflect on them, contemplate them. There is a fine line between “taking a picture” and “making a picture”, and artists using photography give us images to think about. The rise in literacy pertaining to photography is a very positive sign.
Over 2016 I particularly enjoyed:
1. Mishka Henner, Field, held in my museum [Musée des beaux-arts, le Locle] 19 June-16 October
Dan Holdsworth, A Future Archeology, Musée des beaux-arts, le Locle 06 November-29 January 2017
Both artists belong to the same generation. They consider their work photographic, but provide new landscapes within the tradition of photography, using the latest digital tools.
2. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Past and Present in Three Parts, Musée des beaux-arts, le Locle 06 November-29 January 2017
Provoke: Between Protest and Performance, Le Bal 14 September-11 December
Both shows are dedicated to Japanese photographers. Sugimoto began his most important series – Dioramas, Theatres, Seascapes – 40 years ago, Provoke was a Japanese magazine in the 1960s, featuring photographs made by people who felt the need to think about the world and its representation. Going back to history of photography help us to consider today photography! These are important works, visually and conceptually.
3. One, various photographers, published by Radius Books
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Eight photographers and eight writers respond to this quote, first by choosing one image that is hand-tipped into the book, then by writing a text in response to the image. Beautiful design. I like this book very much, I like the concept.
In 2017 I’m looking forward to:
1. The forthcoming photography exhibitions at my museum, Musée des beaux-arts, le Locle
I am working on Henry Leutwyler’s series Document, which features the belongings of 20th Century celebrities, and an exhibition devoted to René Burri’s Che Guevara, the celebrated portrait shot in 1963). Both shows will be dedicated to, and reflect on, the iconic power of photography. I will also be working on an exhibition dedicated to the photobook. Why do we cherish the photobook so much, this object made with paper and ink, at a time where we spend most of our life looking at screens? The show will be about the photobook (what it is exactly?) and will also include the 35 books shortlisted for the 2016 Aperture Foundation-Paris Photo Photobook Awards. Darius Himes, author of the book Publish Your Photography Book will co-curate this show.
2. Susan Bright’s Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography, published by Aperture
I’m looking forward to seeing Susan’s new book – it has a great theme.