“A l’Est du nouveau” visit of the La Gacilly Photo festival
Michel Gathier

#LA GACILLY For its sixteenth edition, La Gacilly photo festival in French Brittany is part of this fierce desire to defend a nature in danger and to confront it with the human and societal challenges it involves. The village of La Gacilly itself is nestled in this exceptional natural setting in the interior of Brittany and the thousand of images presented subtly fit into a vegetal path where the anguish and misery of men are revealed, but also their dreams and hopes.

Coming from the world of art or photojournalism, these images reveal all the ambiguity of a world threatened by chaos but always preserved thanks to this most humble awareness to defend this only true wealth of which man has, nature.
This green museum presents this year “A l’est du nouveau”. But if the Festival is essentially interested in photographic works from Russia, Poland or Lithuania, it nevertheless allows us to confront them with other perspectives for similar issues. And the “new” is also based on a historical return to what may have shaken photography, particularly in Russia.

We will therefore meet Sergy Prokudin-Gorsky for photos taken between 1905 and 1915 whose documentary power is coupled with a technical feat: he resynthesizes the original colors of a shot by successively superimposing three monochrome plates Rodchenko as for him, he is the eye of the constructivist revolution and introduces conceptual thinking into photography. Closer to us, Alexey Titarenko, born in 1962, is a wonderful magician of photography. In “St. Petersburg, the city of shadows”, the light undulates with the city, the bodies melt into waves of mist, the darkness seizes the eternity of dreams.

Dostoyevsky wrote: “To live without hope is to stop living”. This abundance of images, this diversity of approaches appear as gestures to promise salvation as long as we strive to speak the world, to merge with it, to believe in the multiple sparks that flow from it. Each photograph presented here has the strength of a testimony and a hope. Perhaps everything could then be summed up in the astonishing photographic universe of the French Maia Flore, imbued with a magical lightness, where the intimacy of the body merges with the vegetable as reality is woven with the imaginary.


La Gacilly Photo Festival, “A l’Est du nouveau”
Until September 30, 2019