In , the festival welcomed 93, visitors. The specially designed exhibitions, often organised in collaboration with French and foreign museums and institutions, take place in various historic sites. Some venues, such as 12th-century chapels or 19th-century industrial buildings, are open to the public throughout the festival. Memorable events in recent years include Europe Night , an overview of European photography; Christian Lacroix's fashion show for the festival's closing ; and Patti Smith's concert for the Vu agency's 20th anniversary At night, work by a photographer or a photography expert is projected in the town's open-air Roman theatre accompanied by concerts and performances. Each event is a one-off creation.
Les Rencontres d'Arles : | Africultures
I n the past, the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival has worked best when it has been steered by a high-profile guest curator. In Martin Parr's wide-ranging and democratic vision underpinned a programme that was both mischievous and thought-provoking, while in Nan Goldin created a series of shows, talks and late-night screenings that reflected her hard-hitting, confessional style. In the centre of town, the biggest and most well-attended show is a historical one: Gypsies by Josef Koudelka. The book of the same name, first published in France in by Robert Delpire, is one of the defining photobooks of the 20th century, and was reissued last year in an expanded edition with more than 30 previously unseen images. Koudelka's singular brand of poetic sadness is, if anything, more powerful today given that the world he photographed has all but vanished in the intervening years. Many of these austerely evocative black-and-white photographs retain their power to astonish, none more so than the haunting image of a beautiful, bewildered young man in handcuffs.
Les Rencontres d’Arles 2012 :
Spectacles make use of the city's theatricality to talk about photography in a way done nowhere else. Most of the programme has never been presented before; the Rencontres d'Arles' productions later travel to other major international institutions. The exhibitions' individual designs result from the close collaboration between scenographers and the exhibiting artists and curators from various institutions. The Rencontres fulfils its role of promoting photographers and photographic creation in an educational and festive way thanks, in particular, to the high density of events taking place in and around Arles during the summer. The opening week welcomes all the photographers and programme curators, and is a time for debates, symposiums, book signings and exhibition visits that are free and open to everyone.