Press release available only in original language.
Thirty years after the exhibition Hommage à Ferrari, the #fondationcartier pour l’art contemporain will once again focus its attention on the world of cars with the exhibition Autophoto, dedicated to photography’s rela- tionship to the automobile. Since its invention, the auto- mobile has reshaped our landscape, extended our geo- graphic horizons, and radically altered our conception of space and time. The car has also in uenced the approach and practice of photographers, providing them not only with a new subject but also a new way of exploring the world and a new means of expression.
Based on an idea by Xavier Barral and Philippe Séclier, Autophoto will present over 500 works from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. It will invite us to discover the many facets of automotive culture – aesthetic, social, environmental, and industrial - through the eyes of photographers from around the world. The exhibition will bring together over 90 photographers including both famous and lesser-known gures such as Jacques Henri Lartigue, William Eggleston, Justine Kurland and Jacqueline Hassink, who have shown a fas- cination for the automobile as a subject or have used it as a tool to take their pictures
FIRST VISIONS: A NEW SUBJECT FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
In the early 20th century, the automobile and its impact on the landscape had already become a subject of predilec- tion for many photographers, in uencing both the form and content of their work. The exhibition will begin by focus- ing on early photographers like Jacques Henri Lartigue, Germaine Krull, and Brassaï, who used the automobile to varying degrees in their work. They registered the thrill of speed, the chaos of Parisian traf c or the city’s dramatic car-illuminated nocturnal landscape to represent a society in transition at the birth of the modern age. Other photogra- phers of the time were attracted by the promise of free- dom and mobility offered by the automobile. Anticipating the modern road trip, Swiss writers and photographers Ella Maillart and Nicolas Bouvier, travelled throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1950s respectively, using their cars and cam- eras to record their adventures along the way.
The exhibition will also present a series of “auto por- traits”* made by a variety of photographers from the mi-twentieth century to the present. Yashuhiro Ishimoto and Langdon Clay’s photographs, for example, are portraits in pro le of cars parked on sparsely inhabited city streets, that immerse the viewer in a different eras and atmospheres. Ishimoto’s black and white photographs, taken in Chicago in the 1950s, emphasize their polished, curved silhouettes in a distanced and serial manner, while Langdon Clay’s color pic- tures taken in New York in the 1970s, show their decaying and dented chassis in an eerie nocturnal light. Other works in this section, such as the found photographs of Sylvie Meunier and Patrick Tourneboeuf’s American Dream series, or the amboyant portraits of African photographers Seydou Keïta and Sory Sanlé, focus on the role of the automobile as a emblem of social mobility showing proud owners posing with their cars.
* A play on words in French: #auto portrait meaning self-portrait.
THE CAR AS A MEDIUM: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE LANDSCAPE
Many photographers have exploited the technical and aesthetic possibilities offered by the automobile, using it like a camera to capture the surrounding landscape through car windows or the re ections in rear-view mirrors.
Photographers such as Philippe Chancel, Éric Aupol and Edward Burtynsky are concerned with the car industry’s damage to the environment. Philippe Chancel’s work focuses on the city of Flint and its dismantled General Motors factory, while Éric Aupol’s and Ed Burtynsky’s photographs reveal the sculptural yet apocalyptic beauty of industrial waste sites.
Other photographers reveal how the car plays an important role in historical events, in society and in daily life. Arwed Messmer’s Reenactement series brings together photographs from the archives of the Stasi showing how people used cars in unusual ways to escape from East Germany, and Fernando Gutiérrez work, Secuelas, explores the role of the Ford Falcon, a symbol of Argentina’s military dictatorship, in the collective imaginary of the Argentinean people. Jacqueline Hassink’s immersive projection Car Girls investigates the role and status of women who work in car shows around the world. Martin Parr’s series From A to B chronicles the thoughts dreams and anxieties of British motorists. Still other series by pho- tographers such as Rosângela Rennó, Óscar Monzón, Kurt Caviezel and Bruce Davidson show how the car has become an extension of the home, used for weddings and picnics, living and sleeping, arguments and making love.
The #fondationcartier has also invited artist Alain Bublex to create for the exhibition a series of 10 model cars that cast a fresh eye on the history of automobile design. His installation combines photographs, drawings and models to explore how the car design has evolved over time incorporating new tech- niques, forms, and practices.
Despite energy crises, ecology movements, and industrial mismanagement, the car remains essential to our daily lives. At a time when we are questioning the role and the future of the automobile in our society, the Autophoto exhibition reex- amines, with nostalgia, humor, and a critical eye, this 20th century symbol of freedom and independence.
Cars have determined the framing and composition as well as the serial nature of the photographs of Joel Meyerowitz, Daido Moriyama, John Divola and David Bradford who have all worked from moving cars. From behind their windshields, these photographers capture an amusing store sign, a white car behind a wire fence, a dog running along a dusty road, a highway stretching out into the horizon. Other photographers, including Sue Barr, Robert Adams, Ed Ruscha, and Alex MacLean scrutinize our car-altered environment. Their landscape is no longer one of magni cent mountains, wondrous waterfalls or awe-inspiring canyons, but of a world transformed by the automobile with its suburban housing complexes, parking lots, and highway infrastructure.
OUR CAR CULTURE: INDUSTRY, HISTORY AND NEW WAYS OF LIFE
Many photographers have explored other aspects of our car culture, from the car industry and its impact on the environment to its role in history and society. Both Robert Doisneau and Robert Frank registered life in the factory, from the machines and productions lines to the activities of the workers lives, the rst at the Renault plant in the 1930s and the second at Ford River Rouge in the 1950s. Their pho- tographs, unique in their attention to individual assembly line workers, contrast with the work of contemporary pho- tographer Stéphane Couturier whose deliberately distanced, impersonal pictures taken at a Toyota factory re ect the increasingly dehumanized nature of contemporary industry.
Working in Ghana, far from the automated factory pho- tographed by Stéphane Couturier, Dutch artist Melle Smets, and sociologist Joost Van Onna, put industrial waste from the car industry to good use. Collaborating with local crafts- man in a region called Suame Magazine, where cars are dis- assembled and their parts traded, they created a car speci - cally for the African market called Turtle 1, using parts from different brands that happened to be available. Their instal- lation, which includes photographs, drawings, and videos, documents the entire fabrication process of this car.
presented from April 20 to September 24 2017 at the #fondationcartier pour l’art contemporain 261, boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris
Curators: Xavier Barral and Philippe Séclier Associate curator: Leanne Sacramonne Deputy curator: Marie Perennes Exhibition design: Constance Guisset
WITH: ROBERT ADAMS • EVE ARNOLD • BERNARD ASSET • ÉRIC AUPOL THEO BAART AND CARY MARKERINK • SUE BARR • VALÉRIE BELIN MARTIN BOGREN • NICOLAS BOUVIER • DAVID BRADFORD
BRASSAÏ • ALAIN BUBLEX • EDWARD BURTYNSKY • ANDREW BUSH RONNI CAMPANA • GILLES CARON • ALEJANDRO CARTAGENA
KURT CAVIEZEL • PHILIPPE CHANCEL • LARRY CLARK • LANGDON CLAY STÉPHANE COUTURIER • BRUCE DAVIDSON • JEAN DEPARA RAYMOND DEPARDON • JOHN DIVOLA • ROBERT DOISNEAU WILLIAM EGGLESTON • ELLIOTT ERWITT • WALKER EVANS
BARRY FEINSTEIN • PIERRE DE FENOŸL • ALAIN FLEISCHER
ROBERT FRANK • LEE FRIEDLANDER • BERNHARD FUCHS
PAOLO GASPARINI • ÓSCAR FERNANDO GÓMEZ • JEFF GUESS ANDREAS GURSKY • FERNANDO GUTIÉRREZ • JACQUELINE HASSINK ANTHONY HERNANDEZ • YASUHIRO ISHIMOTO • PETER KEETMAN SEYDOU KEÏTA • GERMAINE KRULL • SEIJI KURATA • JUSTINE KURLAND JACQUES HENRI LARTIGUE • O. WINSTON LINK • PETER LIPPMANN MARCOS LÓPEZ • ALEX MACLEAN • ELLA MAILLART • MAN RAY
MARY ELLEN MARK • ARWED MESSMER • RAY K. METZKER
SYLVIE MEUNIER AND PATRICK TOURNEBOEUF • JOEL MEYEROWITZ KAY MICHALAK AND SVEN VÖLKER • ÓSCAR MONZÓN
BASILE MOOKHERJEE • DAIDO MORIYAMA • PATRICK NAGATANI ARNOLD ODERMATT • CATHERINE OPIE • TRENT PARKE • MARTIN PARR MATEO PÉREZ • JEAN PIGOZZI • BERNARD PLOSSU • MATTHEW PORTER EDWARD QUINN • BILL RAUHAUSER • ROSÂNGELA RENNÓ
LUCIANO RIGOLINI • MIGUEL RIO BRANCO • ED RUSCHA • SORY SANLÉ HANS-CHRISTIAN SCHINK • ANTOINE SCHNEK • STEPHEN SHORE MALICK SIDIBÉ • GUIDO SIGRISTE • RAGHUBIR SINGH
MELLE SMETS AND JOOST VAN ONNA • JULES SPINATSCH
DENNIS STOCK • HIROSHI SUGIMOTO • JUERGEN TELLER TENDANCE FLOUE • THIERRY VERNET • WEEGEE • HENRY WESSEL ALAIN WILLAUME
Bringing together over 600 images, the catalogue of the Autophoto exhibition reveals how photography, a tool priv- ileging immobility, bene ted from the automobile, a tool privileging mobility. The catalogue features iconic images by both historic and contemporary photographers who have captured the automobile, and transformed this popular accessible object through their passionate and creative vision. Quotes by the artists, and a chronology of automobile design, as well as interviews and texts by specialists provide a deeper understanding of this vast topic through a variety of aesthetic, sociological, and historical perspectives.
#fondationcartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris – Éditions Xavier Barral, Paris
French and English versions
Foreword by Xavier Barral and Philippe Séclier; Texts by Simon Baker, Nancy W. Barr,
Clément Chéroux, Marc Desportes, Pascal Ory; Chronology by Alain Bublex; Artists quotes; Interviews with Alain Prost and Jean Todt.
480 pages and 600 color and black-and-white reproductions.
AUTOPHOTO. DE 1900 À NOS JOURS
April 20 › September 24, 2017
#fondationcartier pour l’art contemporain 261, boulevard Raspail 75014 Paris