Polyptyque: New exhibition dedicated to contemporary photography at the Docks Village in Marseille
While the sun still burns our skin and the salty scents invite us to plunge into the deep blue, it’s time to take notebooks and pens and set off on new artistic discoveries. And for these first days of school, we can say that the Phocaean city is active year after year. From 31 to 02 September 2018, three international fairs await you in the emblematic Joliette district. First at J1, the historic hangar of the Port of Marseille, Art O Rama, the international contemporary art fair, celebrates its twelfth edition; then Paréidolie;a show that focuses on contemporary drawing, is back for its fifth year; and, for its first edition, a contemporary photography show called Polyptych is set up near the J1, at the Docks Village.Polyptyque takes us into the current photographic creation through the works of about fifteen talented artists with singular universes. A fair as a foretaste of the artistic proposals of the Marseille Photographic Centre which will be inaugurated nearby on November 23, 2018, Eric Gudimard, in charge of the Polyptych exhibition and Anne Bruchet, marketing manager of the Docks Village, tell us about the first edition of this atypical photographic exhibition.
Marlène Pegliasco: How was Polyptyque, the contemporary photography exhibition in Marseille, born?
Eric Gudimard: We have been working for a few years on this project for a contemporary photography exhibition in Marseille in order to increase the cultural offer but especially in response to its lack of visibility in the Southern Region. By joining us with the Art O Rama and Paréidolie events, we benefit from the aura of these two international fairs and thus propose a global artistic offer at the end of the summer season. We welcome the galleries Straat (Marseille), Binôme et Sit Down (Paris), Drawing Room (Hamburg) and Espace JB (Geneva) which will present the work of ten photographers. They were chosen for their strong artistic lines and their commitment to promoting artists. For one of Polyptych’s missions is to act as an interface and relay by helping these talented photographers and bringing them into the contemporary photography market. This is one of the roles of the Polyptych Prize. Finally, the show allows everyone, amateurs or enlightened, to enter the collection by offering themselves quality works at affordable prices.
M.P.: Tell us about the Polyptych Prize.
E.G. The five selected galleries form the artistic committee of the Polyptych Prize 2018 in order to allow photographers from the Southern Region to be put forward on the artistic scene. Following a call for applications, we received about forty files. We pre-selected fifteen of them and, in the end, selected only five winners. The five photographers who received the Polyptych Prize 2018 benefit from an exhibition during the exhibition as well as an exhibition in Paris in one of the participating galleries. This opportunity, financially supported by the Southern Region, will allow photographers Ariane Breton-Hourcq, Hélène David, Maude Grübel, Doriane Souilhol and David Giancatarina to discover and promote their work.
M.P: Is it a will to show the dynamism of contemporary photographic creation in the Southern Region?
E.G: Effectively. First of all, Polyptyque is a unifying exhibition of micro-initiatives that we can find in Marseille and its surroundings. Moreover, we are aware of the economic concerns of artists. Photographic orders have dropped considerably and photographers are having difficulty selling their work. That is why we accompany them through the Polyptych Prize. We help them to set up their exhibition, to choose the frames, to define the prices, a concrete accompaniment for professional photographers who have never been put on the market and whose access remains less obvious outside the capital.
M.P. Why highlight the European edition of the photographic book and the artist’s edition?
E.G. For this first edition, we have invited eight independent publishers who will present their publication work around photography. Once again, we started from an obvious observation. Selling your photographic work is an essential question that the artist’s book answers. Whether it was self-published books or a hundred copies printed by small publishing houses, it seemed essential to us to show these works which often become collectibles. It is once again a way to enter the collection through a beautiful object with a real personality. We also have the chance to welcome David Solo, a great collector of artist’s books who will exchange with us during the debate.
M.P. :The Docks Village are partners in hosting this first edition. Tell us about the culture in these places?
Anne Bruchet :Throughout the year, this historic building in the Marseilles landscape hosts numerous exhibitions and promotes an accessible culture. The meeting withEric Gudimardis a happy coincidence. He was looking for a place for his event and we naturally answered. TheDocks Villageopened inoctober 2015and its cultural dimension is very strong. We have already hosted about thirty exhibitions, hung monumental works, held an auction and we have partnerships with theFRAC. The living roomPolyptychenters our cultural and artistic policy. Moreover, the proximity withArt O RamaandPareidoliais important because it places this contemporary photography exhibition at the heart of a large coherent whole. Finally, the industrial-style location, with a beautiful ceiling height, is quite emblematic in this neighbourhood of theJoliettewhich is the symbol of Marseilles’ renewal.
M.P. :Are you already thinking about a second edition?
E.G. ;For this first edition, we have forged numerous partnerships. Polyptychis a fair with a different approach. The regular exchanges with the galleries allowed us to position ourselves in something fair by responding to the desires, the air of time and by helping artists professionally. We already have partnership projects for a second edition, whether with other shows, other galleries. There is an interest in this fair whose approach is radically different and the universe more intimate. By its name representing an image composed of several other images;Polyptychis defined as a fair showing the widest possible photographic practices and the different and unexpected approaches. In the meantime, we hope that this first show will be a success with visitors, collectors and artists.
Polyptych – Contemporary photography exhibition
From August 31 to September 02, 2018
2, Place de la Joliette
Docks Village Showroom
friday, August 31 6 pm / 9 pm
Place de la Joliette
Opening on August 31 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Open from 10am to 7pm on September 1st and 2nd
Professional meetings (Capitainerie des Docks Village)
Saturday September 1st at 5 pm: Photo books, artists’ books, independent editions: artistic practice and economic viability.
Sunday, September 2 at 5pm: The photography market: what is the current situation?
The lounge and the meetings are open access.
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