New in 2017-2018, Chaumont-sur-Loire’s Arts and Nature Centre is devoting all its winter exhibitions to photography.
From 19 November 2017 to 28 February 2018, the works of seven photographers, each expressing their unique viewpoints on landscape and nature, will be presented across more than 2000 square metres of exhibition space in the Château itself and its Farmyard.
A special tribute will be paid to two great names in the world of photography who died before their time: Thibaut Cuisset and Gérard Rondeau.
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire will also be hosting France’s first major exhibition devoted to Elger Esser, one of the Düsseldorf School’s prominent photographers. Pinhole-camera enthusiasts both, the American photographer Robert Charles Mann and German artist Hanns Zischler will also be guests at this winter photography festival, alongside Éric Sander and François Méchain.
Eulogising wide open spaces in equally wide shots, Thibaut Cuisset’s landscapes have the power to draw the viewer’s eye willy-nilly. The artist preferred the noonday light, when the sun was at its zenith, when “perspectives are flattened”. In his eyes, a successful photograph was “an excess of reality tending towards fiction”. His taste for “cold poetry” illuminates and transcends the views of the Loire and Icelandic landscapes on exhibition at Chaumont-sur-Loire this winter.
Although more focused on a world of unresolved shadows, Gérard Rondeau, another ardent lover of travel to faraway places, knew how to capture the essence of a single instant in his timeless black-and-white images. He liked to play with silence as much as with words. And just as he was immediately able to grasp the very depth of a being, he instantly understood the profound reality of a landscape
While Thibaut Cuisset was inspired by Corot, Cézanne and Richter, the German photographer Elger Esser professes to draw inspiration from romantic painting and claims literary affinities with Proust, Flaubert and Maupassant. His highly pictorial images, caught between history and memory, are also “landscapes of the soul”, dear to the writers he feels close to.
Elger Esser’s photographs require very long exposure times. Pinhole photography, a venerable technique used by Robert Charles Mann and Hanns Zischler, also involves slow shutter speeds, enabling all of a scene’s or landscape’s vibrations to be captured. Although from elsewhere, both photographers are fascinated by the Loire’s poetic power, which Robert Charles Mann discovered and glorified during his haphazard wanderings, while Hanns Zischler contemplated the river from the baskets of hot-air balloons high in the skies above. Chaumont-photo-sur-Loire will also acquaint visitors with Eric Sander’s fascinating lowering skies and the magical charms of a nature transformed by art under the aegis of François Méchain.
In the heart of the Centre-Loire Valley region, just 2 hours from Paris, these exhibitions are invitations to take motionless journeys to unexpected inner landscapes.