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Être présent


Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles
Palais de l'Archevêché, 35 Place de la République
13200 Arles


Being Present brings together more than 100 head and shoulders portraits realized by Pieter Hugo since the early 2000s, offering an expansive overview of the artist’s engagement with this particular tradition of portraiture. The selected photographs dabble with the lexicons of forensics, surveillance and typologies while keeping a strong humanism at their core. In Hugo’s words: “My work is about the notion of being an outsider: I feel I inhabit this space myself and I embrace this awareness as a way to engage with the people I photograph. I almost always work by announcing myself at the outset; I look, and I am equally looked at. When making a portrait there is a brief moment in which cynicism disappears. There is beauty in being held in the gaze of another.”

For more information, go on the website of the Rencontres photographiques d'Arles

About Pieter Hugo (South Africa) : 
Born 1976 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Major museum solo shows have taken place at Museu Coleção Berardo, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, The Hague Museum of Photography, Musée de l'Elysée, Ludwig Museum, Fotografiska, MAXXI and the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, among others. Hugo has participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including Huis Marseille, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Barbican Art Gallery, Rijksmuseum, Tate Modern, the Folkwang Museum, and the São Paulo Biennale. His work is represented in prominent public and private collections.

About the Rencontres photographiques d'Arles : 
The Rencontres d'Arles is a summer photography festival founded in 1970, which has learned a world- wide reputation as a springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talents. Many of the most prestigious photographers have taken part in the Rencontres d’Arles, but the list of those who were “discovered” there is also impressive. The festival aims to stay abreast of changes in the photographic image and new processes and technologies, and to offer everyone a chance to get to know the world of photography. It is rich in diverse viewpoints thanks to the number and variety of photographers and curators from different backgrounds. Every year, the festival attempts to decipher a changing world, since photography is the medium that best tells the story.



Sponsored by

  • République Française
  • Institut Français
  • Agence Française de développement
  • Conseil présidentiel pour l'Afrique