Women photographers, NFT, Rossy de Palma’s favorites… Paris Photo celebrates its 25th anniversary

To celebrate its quarter century, the fair is being housed in the temporary Grand Palais. Meeting with its director, Florence Bourgeois.

Photo of Paris? The first international fair dedicated to the photographic medium. Since 1997, she has been working on the development and support of creation, and from November 10 to 13 invites the actress Rossy de Palma. Florence Bourgeois details the program in detail.

Mrs. Figaro.– Why did you choose Rossy de Palma as guest of honor?
Bourgeois Florence. – The multidisciplinary nature of his career interested us. Actress, singer, model, she has toured with many directors, Pedro Almodóvar at the helm. A fashion icon, she has inspired many photographers such as Alberto García-Alix, Pierre & Gilles, Richard Avedon, Roxanne Lowit or Gorka Postigo.

What about the Gorka Postigo poster featuring Rossy de Palma and a parrot, nose and beak in profile?
We were enticed by this image very cinematic and whose liveliness matches the actress’s fiery personality. The portrait, produced in 2018 for the Spanish edition of fashion, it plays with fantasy, beauty, art history and a touch of the absurd. For the 25th anniversary of Paris Photo, Rossy has selected 25 works by Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Brassaï, Mircea Cantor, Agnès Varda… Visitors will be able to discover his favorites and his aesthetics at the gallery stands. She herself wrote a little poem to represent her choice. “The eye is a camera / Photo a screen / Camera, a shield / A weapon to witness the truth, to reveal it, to sublimate it, to deform it / A poetic gaze / A frozen emotion / A gift for memory. / An excuse to capture the fleeting / Life and death in an instant / Misery and Beauty / Shadow and Light.

Florence Bourgeois, director of the Paris Photo international fair. press photo

Highlights of Paris Photo’s 25th anniversary?
For twenty-five years, the fair has worked for the entire ecosystem, exhibitors, curators, collectors, amateurs… It is a platform of discovery and exchange. The move from the Carrousel du Louvre to the Grand Palais, which gave it more stature, was an important step. More space made it possible to integrate more exhibitors but also a program of talks. We’ll have talks on photo performance, about AI, the metaverse, NFT… Publishers have also taken their place. We have 34 this year. Thanks to them, we can offer 300 artist signatures. This allows visitors, who aren’t all collectors and don’t have all the budget to buy a photo, to walk away with a book autographed by a photographer.

For twenty-five years, the fair has worked for the entire ecosystem, exhibitors, curators, collectors, amateurs…

Bourgeois Florence

And the transition from the Grand Palais to the transitory Grand Palais?
Its two-chamber architecture works very well. As if there were two atmospheres. It creates excitement. On the one hand, the main sector and the traditional galleries, on the other, the Curiosa sector, under the police station. Holly Roussel, dedicated to emerging galleries, talks, partner exhibitions. JPMorgan presents a selection of its collection A different lens reflecting sixty years of photographic work, with a focus on female artists. BMW Art Makers presents Suburban settlement by Arash Hanaei and Morad Montazami, which between static images, videos, 3D design, explores complex spaces like the metaverse.

How many galleries in total?
We have 134 galleries from 29 countries with 18 new entries. There will be 38 solo and duo performances, from Marina Abramović in Orlando. The Curiosa sector brings together 16 galleries from 9 countries with 11 new participations. We present a panorama of photography over two centuries, from its birth to the avant-garde. It is important to note that two thirds of our exhibitors are foreigners. Local scenes are represented, South and Central America, Eastern Europe… There are also two Turkish galleries, an Iranian gallery, a Lebanese gallery…

We present a panorama of photography over two centuries, from its birth to the avant-garde

Bourgeois Florence

Since 2018, you have initiated Elles × Paris Photo. What about this year?
We are continuing our commitment to women photographers with this program, which in particular has the support of Women on the move, a Kering initiative, and promotes the visibility of female artists and their contribution to the history of photography. This 5e the publication is entrusted to Federica Chiocchetti, writer, curator, publisher and new director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland. For this journey she chose unpublished female artists.

The selection is as diverse as can be, both historically and geographically. It ranges from a cyanotype of a ground pine by American Bertha E. Jacques (1863-1941) to the Italian-American activist Tina Modotti (1896-1942), who established a photographic practice in the bohemian scene from Mexico City in the 1920s, to in the radical German artist Gabriele Stötzer, who produced works to question the role of women in East Germany. There are also more recent works by South African artist Zanele Muholi. Federica has decided to extend this course to the book sector as well. Because it seems easier for a woman to publish a book than to be represented by a gallery.

There is still work to be done in the photo market…
Seventy-seven artists were selected. There are also historical photographers, such as Imogen Cunningham or Berenice Abbott.

How do you support new talents?
Through one carte blanche. Paris Photo, the Picto Foundation and SNCF are joining forces to develop a platform for discoveries, visibility, exchanges and meetings aimed at master or undergraduate students from European schools of photography and visual arts. The projects of the four winners (Alessandra Leta, Jérémie Danon, Philip Tsetinis and Sumi Anjuman), chosen from one hundred schools, will be exhibited at the Gare de Lyon until November 30. Their portfolio will be presented at Paris Photo. It’s not uncommon to find them next year in a gallery’s picture strips. It is the DNA of Paris Photo to show historical, contemporary photography to the show.
Paris Photo, from November 10 to 13, at the transitional Grand Palais, in Paris. parisphoto.com

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