The Power Station of Art and the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain present Raymond Depardon, La vie moderne, the first solo exhibition in China of French photographer and filmmaker Raymond Depardon who, since the 1970s, has profoundly redefined the world of contemporary photography.
Showcasing a hundred photographs and one feature film, the exhibition shares the approach of the artist whose visual language is simple and often frontal, keeping the subject in a central position. Always searching for the right distance, Raymond Depardon builds relationships between people and places. He listens and gives others a chance to speak, and projects a humanistic view of the world.
Borrowing his title from the 2008 film, that concluded
the Profils paysans trilogy directed in collaboration with Claudine Nougaret, the Raymond Depardon, La vie moderne exhibition recounts the artist's attachment to the rural world and gives an contemporary insight of France, its countryside, peripheral areas, and uneventful places, a vision removed from clichés, the picturesque, or romantic visions. A farmers' son, Raymond Depardon draws a portrait of the world and of himself. By alternating between black and white and colour, he reinvents landscape photography.
Playing with a shot/reverse shot relationship between photography and cinema, the scenography designed by Adrien Gardère highlights how the practice of filmmaking and photography are linked, interact, and echo each other throughout the career of Raymond Depardon, who has often reflected on how to exhibit images in movement.
This exhibition is grounded in an over thirty years relationship between Raymond Depardon and the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain. Founded on a shared vision of our contemporary society, its issues and its challenges, this uninterrupted dialogue has grown and prospered through many projects: 14 solo and group exhibitions, 19 books, and the production of 8 films. The Fondation Cartier’s collection also conserves 570 photographs by the artist including the entire collection of the La France and Rural photos.
Plaine de la Bresse, 1984. ©Raymond Depardon/Magnum photos
Madeleine Lacombe, Aubas, Dordogne, 1987. ©Raymond Depardon/Magnum photos
Marcel Privat le villaret, Lozère 2007. ©Raymond Depardon, Mag_x005f_x005f_x0002_num photos.
Émilie Quentin et Charles-Antoine Depardon, Caubel, Sainte-Eula_x005f_x005f_x0002_lie-de-Cernon, Aveyron, 1992. ©Raymond Depardon/Magnum photos
This long-term relationship that links the photographer with the Fondation Cartier is characteristic of the manner in which the Fondation Cartier has operated since its creation in 1984; it allows itself to be led and inspired by artists who, through exhibitions, commissions, or publications, introduce it to philosophy, anthropology, and the sciences, and cultivate its ability to question, reflect, and develop its curiosity. Following the 2022 presentation of the largest exhibition ever of the artist's work in Milan, the Fondation Cartier offers today the Chinese public the opportunity to discover a novel interpretation of his work.
Raymond Depardon, La vie moderne is the fifth collaboration between the Power Station of Art and the Fondation Cartier, after A Beautiful Elsewhere (2018), Junya Ishigami, Freeing architecture (2019), Jean Nouvel, in my head, in my eye... belonging... (2019), and Trees (2021).
About the Artist
Raymond Depardon, born in 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône (France), now lives in Clamart, close to Paris (France). He is one of the greatest names in photography and cinema of our time. The son of farmers, he discovered photography at the age of twelve. His first subjects were his parents' farm and the rural environment, that would profoundly mark hiswork. In the 1960s, he became a photojournalist and covered the news for Dalmas, a French news agency. In 1966, he co-founded the Gamma agency, and in 1978 joined the internationally renowned agency Magnum.
Travelling the world as a reporter, from Chile to Chad, from Venice to Afghanistan, he often combined, in a unique way, photos with texts and notes, bringing to light a singular humanistic view of the world. A filmmaker and photographer, he directed twenty-five feature films – most of them with sound engineer Claudine Nougaret - that have been presented in the official selections of the most famous festivals, from Cannes to Venice and Berlin, and crowned with prestigious prizes. Always committed to meeting reality head-on, he addressed in several of his films the relationship between individuals and institutions, whether the judicial system, the police, hospitals or psychiatric institutions. In others, he explored the attachment men and women have with their land and their relationship with the landscape. In addition to
photographing the desert, rural settings, and the Amazonian rainforest, he also tackled the urban environment. In 2004, commissioned by the Fondation Cartier, he filmed and photographed several large metropolises such as Shanghai. Raymond Depardon published more than seventy books. His work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions in cities such as Paris, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Milan, and now Shanghai.
About the Exhibition
Dates: 22/04/2023 — 23/07/2023
Venue: 7F, PSA
Organized by: Power Station of Art, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
Curated by: Hervé Chandès, Gong Yan, Fei Dawei, Chiara Agradi
Courtesy Power Station of Art.