Strange as it may seem, every year, like a seismograph of our times, Rencontres d’Arles captures our world’s state of consciousness. Its photographers, artists, and curators help us to see, to perceive, with keener acuteness, the transformations we are living through. Awareness – at the very least – of climate change has become unavoidable, directly affecting our habits.
Aware of these necessities and of its role as groundbreaker, this year the festival, in collaboration with the Cité Anthropocène in Lyon, is launching an exploration of the Arlesian territory and its ecosystem. Scientists, researchers, thinkers, and artists made their voyages of discovery in order to take stock of them. Ground Control, the former SNCF warehouse, was chosen as thinktank headquarters and was central to all discussions; the result was a rearrangement of the space.
Exploration of the territory may take many different forms. Thus, Eric Tabuchi and Nelly Monnier’s Grey Sun presents a corpus of the territory derived from their long-term project Atlas des Régions Naturelles. While Mathieu Asselin’s investigation of the industrial area, once the height of Tarascon’s modernity, at the heart of the Here Near exhibition gives us a totally different perspective. Tanja Engelberts explores the Rhône; Sheng-Wen Lo roams through Camargue; each, with individual approach and sensibility, reminding us that the space between earth and water must be protected, if we want to keep enjoying it in the near future.