It’s July, which means that thousands of photographers and photography lovers from around the world will be headed to Arles, a small city in Provence, southern France. They will brave the heatwave (and the mosquitos), to see the numerous exhibitions in this year’s edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles, the world’s premiere photography festival.
Arles is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the prestigious gathering with a remarkable 50 exhibitions, showcasing the hottest names in photography. Exhibitions featuring the well and lesser known names of historic and contemporary photography spill out all over the city. Venues range from an ancient Roman theater to 18th-century cloisters, churches and even the aisles of a supermarket. The festival has come a long way since 1970, when photographers were initially reluctant to make the trip. Now, every summer, Arles becomes the capital of photography for the summer months.
Dutch artist Marjan Teeuwen’s photographs require a monumental effort to pull off. Teeuwen creates large-scale architectural installations inside soon-to-be-demolished buildings, using the rubble from the wreckage. The result is beautifully composed images that capture construction and dereliction, and somehow recall Dutch Golden Age paintings. She is showing some of these inside a derelict building in Arles where she has made a new installation for the festival.