The Jeu de Paume is introducing new opening hours as its Franco-American summer season kicks off, with three monographic exhibitions respectively devoted to Sally Mann, Marc Pataut, and Ben Thorp Brown.
On the second level, the exhibition “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” is the only foray outside of the U.S. for this retrospective of a major American photographer who is most likely little known to French audiences, as her work has rarely been shown on this side of the Atlantic. With one hundred or so images, many previously unpublished, the core of her work is presented here, deeply marked by the weight of history: the artist’s private, biographical, family history; and the collective history of the American South, where Sally Mann was born and where she lives today.
The lyrical, seductive beauty of these images must not lead us to forget the solemn nature of the work, addressing questions of the passage of time, disappearance, and the fragility of bodies; and also, of American history, with its legacy of slavery and racial segregation. This work, which renews explorations of old techniques, might be viewed as timeless, were it not for how strongly it resonates with some of the tumults rocking American society today.
On the ground level, the exhibition “Marc Pataut: Proximities” is the first of its scope to be devoted to this artist in a French institution. It gathers around fifteen series, spanning works from the mid-1980s to the present day. Taken as a whole, it sheds light on the drive that has always animated Marc Pataut’s effort to make images in a different manner – not only using photography to shape, but turning photography into a tool for a truer relationship with the world, and with his models.
With no walls separating works, the open exhibition design makes for a space that will welcome encounters and debates throughout the summer, with a rich cultural program of around ten very different events planned between now and September.
Lastly, on level –1, you can discover Ben Thorp Brown’s “The Arcadia Center”, a new installation encompassing a sound piece, a sculpture, and a surprising film commissioned for the occasion: its main protagonist, a tortoise, guides visitors through Richard and Dion Neutra’s modern architecture, providing the chance for a curious encounter between nature and culture, mythology and modernity.
Enjoy your visit!
Quentin Bajac, Director of the Jeu de Paume
Translation from French: Sara Heft