1839. Photography is invented and makes its way in among the other arts, uninvited and upending their connections with one another. Initially deemed an “industrial art,” this process for duplicating reality came to modify the ways of depicting space, time, and memory, and to question painters and writers in a mix of rejection and fascination.
At the point where photography and literature meet, interconnections formed, complex and fertile. It is that variety of interactions between image and text that the exhibition Photolittérature (Photo-literature) aims to explore through a selection of works in French. These feature photographer-writer dialogues, photographer writers, writer photographers, texts illustrated with anonymous photographs, and books without illustrations in which photography is a theme and images, which are absent, serve as a catalyst for the narrative.
Travel story, fiction, poetry, autobiography… quite a journey down the ages and through the esthetic trends, following the frictions, fusions, and evolution of print supports to take stock of the range of photo-literary phenomena, from the invention of Modernity—which photography helped to form—to the new potential of digital technologies.
Marta Caraion, assistant professor at the University of Lausanne
Jean-Pierre Montier, professor at the University of Rennes