Olivier Saillard Curates Open-Air Photography Exhibition in Arles
Fashion’s polymath, Olivier Saillard, has added another feather in his cap by now curating a unique open-air photography exhibition in Arles, France.
Working alongside his partner Gaël Mamine and supported by Cellule Archives, a company initiated by Mamine with the collaboration of Saillard, which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of fashion heritage in the form of exhibitions and publishing projects central to Arles. The renowned fashion historian and curator assembled an exhibition of works from some of fashion and fine art’s most venerable photographers, including the likes of Peter Lindbergh, Senta Simond, and David Sims. Entitled Les Images Perdues, which can be clunkily translated to English as “Lost Images,” the exhibition opened this past weekend.
The city itself, and its beautiful historical architecture, form the gallery of the exhibition. It has no definite end or beginning, neither in time nor in space. Poster-sized photographs are plastered on exterior walls, where they will be subject to the poetic ravages of wind and sun and humans. Anybody will be able to walk through the city and experience the exhibition until it has at last entirely crumbled away.
With its documentary nature, photography has always seemed connected to memory and the ephemeral. A photograph captures and freezes a real moment in time, forming an unchanging memory. But this seems like a paradox – memories shift, become recontextualized, and eventually fade. With this uniquely collaborative and inclusive exhibition, Saillard finds a fascinating way to explore this tension, to set the ephemeral against the unchanging, the momentary against the eternal.