Prix de la photo Camera Clara


Michel Poivert, is a professor at the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he directs the Training and Research unit, The History of Art and Archaeology. He was President of the Société française de photographie from 1996 to 2010, is a member of the editorial board of La Revue de l'Art and of the journal Études photographiques, he is furthermore the administrator of the Fondation d'entreprise Neulflize Vie pour la photographie contemporaine and member of the acquisition committee for the Neuflize Collection. He is vice-president of the Scientifique Council for the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art. He is also a scientific consultant for the Fondation Gilles Caron (Geneva).
He has notably the author of Le pictorialisme en France (Höebecke/Bibliothèque nationale) in 1992, Robert Demachy (Nathan/coll. Photo-Poche) in 1997, La photographie contemporaine (Flammarion) in 2002 reedited and expanded in 2010, and L'image au service de la révolution (Le Point du Jour Éditeurs) in 2006. With André Gunthert he co-directed L'Art de la photographie, des origines à nos jours (Citadelles et Mazenod) in 2007.

He has organised the exhibitions, Le Salon de photographie, le pictorialisme en Europe et aux Etats-Unis, Rodin Museum (1993), Un monde non-objectif en photographie, Thessa Hérold Gallery, Paris (2003), L'utopie photographique, 150 ans de la Société française de photographie, Maison Européenne de la photographie, Paris, 2004, La Région humaine, Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon (2006), L'Événement, les images comme acteur de l'histoire (2007), at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. He was the co-curator of La Subversion des image, surréalisme, photographie, film (2009-2010) at the Centre Georges Pompidou and was the curator of Nadar, la norme et la caprice at the Château de Tours (Jeu de Paume Hors-les-murs). He is preparing an exhibition consecrated to the photoreporter Gilles Caron (1939-1970) at the musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne. 

"The Camera Clara Photo Prize rewards a specific practice of the photographic image. By recognising photographers that make a contemporary usage of the view camera, the Prize reminds us that creation today is inscribed in a multisecular tradition of our visual culture. The chamber or camera is a representational device that establishes itself in the arts from the 17th century and makes it possible to project the image of the world into a closed space due to the mastery of a light beam. What profoundly distinguishes the use of the view camera from that of a conventional camera is an economy of world view; with a conventional camera in hand the photographer aims and captures his image, with the view camera installed on its tripod he frames the world and welcomes it by composing from the image projected onto the back of the machine. If we were to examine the two major categories of anthropology, one could say that the photographer who aims resembles a hunter, while the photographer who composes is a gatherer. Contemporary photographers that use large format belong to a tradition – from Eugène Atget to Brassï, from Walker Evans to Jeff Wall – that conjugate the world in present composite*.”

*Play on the term for the French compound past tense, “passé composé”.

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