Experimenting continuity

While the histories of photography are being constantly shaped, artists are diverging more and more from the classical canon. But continuity in one way or the other (wether under economical, stylistic, historical or personal considerations) can be understood as a healthy basis for experimentation. The experiments we are interested in surprise us first of all by shaking our beliefs in continuity and continuance, but time will test the radicalness of each proposition. We consider experimentation in the arts as a heritage of the 20th century which the digital but amplifies in it's own way. So while we've been heavily invested in the digital since our beginnings, it's certainly not the answer to everything. Cosmos has been slowly growing over the last 7 years, but our place in the festival this year also confronts us with new reflections and considerations. We love experiments, and we love the confusing continuity of the photographic world - so why not have them together?

In 2015 Cosmos has invited 10 entities (Institutions, galleries, curators, publishers) to reply to the following questions:
How can photography experiment while keeping an open dialogue with the history that nourishes it?
How to uncategorize and free photography from old-fashioned models?
Which economical models can respond to the overall crisis that endanger artists?
How to use interactivity and information sharing in a dynamic and creative way?
What new ways of seeing and feeling can be devised in a limited space?
How to effectively communicate your work during a festival?

In result Cosmos and the participants have conceived ten exhibitions around the guiding principle “Continuity“. We don't propose a subject-based nor a generation-based exhibition, but a survey of projects and ways of inventing new relations with images and publishing in all it's forms, proposals that we deemed important enough to share with you.


The Random Series by Miguel Angel Tornero (presented by Juan Silió Gallery)
Deserters by Stéphanie Solinas (presented by RVB Books)
Lick Creek Line by Ron Jude (presented by Gallery Robert Morat)
Twice by Cyrille Weiner (presented by edition 19/80)
Supravision: Photography and the Visual Servitude of the Unseen by Brad Feuerhelm (Presented by COSMOS)
At the Wall and Metropolis by Mame-Diarra Niang (presented by Gallery Stevenson)
Mold is beautiful by Luce Lebart (presented by Poursuite)
Images dissuasives by Samuel Gratacap presented by Temple

  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
  • Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line
Outtakes images from Lick Creek Line

A project by Ron Jude
Presented by Galerie Robert Morat (Hamburg, Germany)

Ron Jude was born in Los Angeles in 1965 but was raised in rural Idaho.  If geographical happenstance influences or even determines sensibility, then this American duality, between the urban and the rural, between the land of images and the landscape of a mythic individualism, permeates Ron Jude’s imagery.  He makes no direct proclamations with his work; the cumulative power is subtle and observant, befitting a sensitive kid growing up among car guys and fur trappers. Proving that these are not mutually exclusive attitudes, his approach to photography is democratic and nuanced, utilizing found photographs, landscapes, portraits, and even pictures he took as a teenager.

Lick Creek Line extends and amplifies Ron Jude’s ongoing fascination with the vagaries of photographic empiricism, and the gray area between documentation and fiction. In a sequential narrative punctuated by contrasting moments of violence and beauty, Jude follows the rambling journey of a fur trapper, methodically checking his trap line in a remote area of Idaho in the Western United States. Through converging pictures of landscapes, architecture, an encroaching resort community, and the solitary, secretive process of trapping pine marten for their pelts, Lick Creek Line underscores the murky and culturally arbitrary nature of moral critique. With an undercurrent of mystery and melancholy that echoes Jude’s previous two books about his childhood home of Central Idaho, Lick Creek Line serves as the linchpin in a multi-faceted, three-part look at the incomprehensibility of self and place through photographic narrative. While Alpine Star functioned as a fictitious sociological archive, and Emmett explored the muddy waters of memory and autobiography, Lick Creek Line finds its tenor through the sleight-of-hand structure of a traditional photo essay.  

A project by Brad Feuerhelm (London, UK)
Presented by COSMOS

Brad Feuerhelm is a photography collector, curator, dealer, and writer on photography. He is also a photographer. He has published several books on his collection and has exhibited his collection of photography widely. In 2012, he published his first book with Self Publish Be Happy (Coll. MOMA, NY) and in 2013 he published his second book “TV Casualty” on the Kennedy Assassination and popular screen culture with Archive of Modern Conflict. He has contributed his writings and collection to Granta, British Journal of Photography, Photography & Culture, Art Review, Dazed & Confused, and American Suburb X.
He has also promoted shows such as “On the Ephemeral In Photography” (Hotshoe, 2011, “Haunting the Chapel: Photography and Dissolution” (Daniel Blau Ltd., 2012),“ On Paraphotography: Uncertainty, the Uncanny, & The Occult” (Harlan Levey Projects, 2013), And Unnatural Selection: Nice Women Artists Respond to the Collection of Brad Feuerhelm for Unseen Photography Fair September, 2013.
In 2013, He has begun a partnership with MAPP publishing to promote selections from his collection in e-book format. The first publication in December 2013, “The Genealogy of Mortals” looks at his collection of photography and murder.
In September 2014, His collaboration with Anouk Kruithof “The Bungalow” was released. In November, 2014 He released “Let us Now Praise Infamous Men” with Paralaxe Editions. In Spring 2015 his collaboration with Marcin Dudek “DIYAUSTRIA” will be published. In Autumn 2015 His book “The Family of Men” will be released with Infinity Land Press.
Brad Feuerhelm is also Managing Editor for American Suburb X and a collector, curator, and writer based in London, UK.

“In regione caecorum rex EST luscus”
“In the Land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”

The cult of vision has an unnatural relationship with photography, its false representations of truth, and the potential instruction for belief it enables. Portraits of the blind and that of belief systems offer a fallibility of sorts. In the former, the representation of disability observed by the visibly able, offers a parallel system of opposition in which the subject observed is unaware of how their representation is interpreted by the design of their “disability”. The blind, in a culture awash with visible information, are not to be seen as infirmed, but could rather be seen as those with a vision which is super, or that above the visually un-impaired. The blind relay largely on all other sensory possibilities to see their world. Notations of echolocation, super-sensitivity, and extra auditory perception all account to promoting a supravision by the sightless.
Within religion and forms of spiritual belief, the sighted and the blind are equal amongst their ability to “see” their beliefs. It is this corollary practice of belief that the division of the sighted and the blind become coalesced into a fraternity of equality unencumbered by the notion of image.
The images presented in this collection look to examine the visual representations of the unseen, the blind, and the religious, and to correlate the notions of vision with that what spiritual belief systems desire to see. At the base of its instruction, photography is about the eye and vision. When we explore the notion of incompatibility within the normative qualities of vision, we may question further the relationship of document, sight, and the system of belief within spiritual dogma. Some of the images of the blind displayed are documents of the subjects engaged in acts like sculpture, or home building that under sighted condition, would be seen as a normal function. At the apex of blindness comes the supravision of act, when the subject is able to perform duties or creation that would under sighted circumstances be only slightly additive to that of the norm. These acts, without the use of sight may be inferred to as a spiritual engagement where the corporeal acts as a vessel for complete vision over that of the simple oculus.

Projects by Mame-Diarra Niang
Presented by Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Mame-Diarra Niang was born in 1982, in Lyon, France and currently lives in Paris. She was raised between Ivory Coast, Senegal and France and is a self-taught artist and photographer. In her creations, she chooses to explore the thematic of the plasticity of territory. Niang's first solo show, Sahel Gris, took place at the Institut Français of Dakar (2013). Group exhibitions include the Dakar Biennale Off (2014) and Le Piéton de Dakar at the Institut Français of Dakar (2013). Mame-Diarra Niang explores the plasticity of territory in her photographic series, At the Wall and Metropolis. Central to the two bodies of work is the idea of the citadel, which contains all those within its walls. Through the juxtaposition of images shot in Dakar and Johannesburg, Niang draws the lines of the map of a new city, reframing it within a mythological landscape. The flat planes of colour and ambiguous perspectives are the raw materials used to construct and produce her territory.  

A project by Stéphanie Solinas

She teaches photography at Beaux-Arts de Rouen/Le Havre (ESADHAR) and Sciences Po Paris. She lives and works in Paris.
Deserters documents the fading photographic portraits of the dead on 379 of the Père-Lachaise cemetery’s 70,000 tombstones in Paris. Each print features the grave’s GSP coordinates in Braille, as though beseeching us to “resuscitate” the deceased individual’s vanishing identity with a visit or a glance. The pictures are individually wrapped in conservation paper and stacked into a shape that becomes sculpture. Deserters echoes the work of three illustrious men buried in Père-Lachaise: Valentin Haüy (1745-1822), who founded the first school for the blind; Félix Tournachon, known as Nadar (1820-1910), a famous portrait photographer; and Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), who invented legal anthropometry. Ms. Solinas also photographed their graves.

A project by Luce Lebart
Presented by Poursuite

Photography historian, exhibition curator and author, Luce Lebart is an expert on photography techniques and the author of books and articles about cloud classification, mountains conservation, first photographic data basis, forensic photography, glaciology, Eugène Atget, The modern cult of documents, non-silver processes as well as photography, baking and eternity.
Her researches concern photography and experimentation and the aesthetic of tests and alterations. She works in order to promote forgotten collections. She has recently published Kids at war from Léon Gimpel (SFP, Rencontres d’Arles 2014) and edited with Poursuite the books Beautés d’archive, Souvenirs du Sphinx (Rencontres d’Arles 2015) and Mold is Beautiful.

Mold is the archive’s number one enemy. It is a ‘risk factor’ and an ‘agent of deterioration’ to be fought with. In this sense, their creative potential is unjustly neglected and yet since the dawn of time the transformative power of microorganisms has been used to produce wine, beer, bread and cheese. In a text written in 1856 by Victor Regnault, a chemist and the first president of the French Society of Photography, devoted to researching the stability of the photographic process, he insisted that only time could determine the permanence of a given photographic process. In the same way, time shapes the structure and determines the form of mold.
Created out of neglect and disinterest, these images were damaged by an ancient flood, deprived of light for many years and thus transformed into wonders of oblivion. In the solitude of their confinement, the organic resources used in their photographic process (gelatine and potato starch) provided an ideal breeding ground for random creative proliferation. Today, presented for contemplation, these images remind us how the aesthetic qualities of a photograph are decidedly independent from the artist’s will.
Luce Lebart

A project by Miguel Ángel Tornero
Presented Gallery Juan Silió (Santander) – With precious help by Nicolàs Cambaro

Miguel Ángel Tornero enjoys prowling around certain unspecified areas of "photographic". For him it is a good starting point from which to expand into emotional and/or knowledge places increasingly difficult to describe and where to establish new relationships with his environment. Born in Baeza, 1978, Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Granada, Miguel Ángel Tornero currently lives and works in Madrid. He has completed residencies in places such as the Spanish Academy in Rome (2012/13) or Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2010), and has been awarded major prizes of photography as Grünenthal (2011) Purification Garcia (2007) or ABC (2003) and "Generaciones" (2009) for art projects. His solo exhibitions include Dear Unforeseen (2012) at Gallery Juan Silió of Santander, The Random Series -berliner trato- (2010) Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, or So far so good (2007) Luis Adelantado Gallery in Valencia . He has also participated in projects curated by, among others, Joan Fontcuberta, Charlotte Cotton or Virginia Torrente. Recently just published the photo book "The Random Series -berliner treatment romananzo & Madrid trip" (Editorial RM).  

The Random Series is a project that proposes a particular photographic exercise to be repeated in different cities. The series constitute a highly unusual approach to photography, to the city, and to the photographer himself. During his stay in each city, Tornero photographed his daily activities intensely and instinctively, accumulating a series of images that would provide the raw material for the final digital collages included in the volume. Curiosity and instinct prevailed in his approach to photography –and to the city–, in a combination of flâneur, Japanese tourist (obsessed with recording everything), and infant, taking in chaotic information unconsciously, without processing it, free of all conventionalism. As if seeing it all for the first time. In the process of creating these unsettling collages, Tornero used a glitch in a software that was not programmed to sew together apparently unrelated images. Ignorant of the parameters of cutting and pasting that the program was going to follow, he let the unexpected take the lead and mark the rhythm of the series. As we can see, the final result is largely left to chance. In the book (published by RM Verlag), this approach is expanded and intensified. First of all, Carlos Fernández-Pello’s text is itself a collage, which also –in a process parallel to that of the creation of the images– has been manipulated, translated, and mercilessly retranslated into different languages by Google Translate. As a result, as in the case of the images, we find a multitude of exaggerated and fortuitous syntactical tangles that make any conventional reading impossible, warning us perhaps to pay special attention to the places to which our own language does not reach. The page layout has also been done randomly and, before being bound, the signatures were shuffled again, so that we might speak of a deconstructed book, each copy of which is practically unique.

A project by Cyrille Weiner
Presented by éditions 19/80

Born in 1976, Cyrille Weiner graduated from the École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière. He lives in Paris.
Mr. Weiner freely interprets geographical, urban and architectural issues through an artistic practice that questions the photographic document’s fictional and poetic power. The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Rencontres d’Arles, villa Noailles in Hyères, Centre de photographie de Lectoure, Guangdong Museum of Art in China and Festival of Light in Buenos Aires have exhibited his work. He won the Prix Rodolphe Hervé et Lucien Hervé in 2012 and is the author of Presque île (éditions villa Noailles/archibooks) and Twice (19/80 éditions). Since 2001, Mr. Weiner’s photography has described contrasts between nature and urban buildings or abandoned places and reconstructed sites. By observing these intermediate zones, he prompts reflection on the occupation of space and time and its transformation: how the individual fits in with them alone or in groups, on the fringes or as part of collective facilities. These “in-between” locations are also experienced as respirations, moments when the urban fabric and its bustle are interrupted, opening up a void where perceptual habits and the appreciation of spaces are turned upside-down. Mr. Weiner’s photographs of these walked-across areas become a blank canvas for fictions. He encourages us to read them with an open mind, disconnected from their original contexts, by building scenarios that take theatrical exhibitions, editorial projects and installations into account. In the framework of the proposal presented at Cosmos, Mr. Weiner has given concrete expression to a project he had been discussing with the designer Grégory Lacoua for a long time: designing a hybrid photographic object, halfway between sculpture and furniture. Both men are interested in the possibility of enhancing the relationship to the world by creating objects and situations whose uncertain identification calls for unprecedented uses and brings the involvement of the body and the gaze back into play. Here, three of Mr. Weiner’s photographs have been transferred to glass plates. Placed one behind the other, they reveal a floating, porous landscape, natural and urban at the same time. These telescoping images recall the relief effect of old stereoscopies whose public presentation was intended for a collective use. They build a projection space at once dense and crystalline that the gaze crosses, readjusts and reconstructs as it sees fit.  

A project by Samuel Gratacap
Presented by Temple

Samuel Gratacap was born in France in 1982. He graduated from the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Marseille.
Wanting to find out what lies behind immigration statistics, in 2007 the young photographer went to the Canet administrative detention centre, where he discovered a transitory space that one undocumented migrant called the “15-15”: “Fifteen days locked up, 15 minutes in front of a judge.” Mr. Gratacap photographed men in search of a future and what they call “luck”, gathering testimonials that led him to Lampedusa, Italy in 2010, travelling in the opposite direction that the immigrants did. Shaken by the plight of shipwrecked passengers and the sight of locals scavenging for their belongings washed up on the beach, he is trying to reveal the Italian island’s “shameful” side. Based on these found documents, he built a subjective account that led him to Zarzis, a port city in southern Tunisia, and the Choucha camp, a few kilometres from the Libyan border. When international organisations officially closed the camp in summer 2013, the migrants, who had been denied refugee status, went to Libya. Then Mr. Gratacap travelled to Tripoli, where he photographs detention centres and day labourers’ waiting areas. Natalie Thiriez
In 2014, Mr. Gratacap started documenting the connections between migration and security policies in the Mediterranean countries. During a reportage in Tripoli, he was embedded with a militia whose mission was to control and intercept drugs, alcohol and weapons at improvised checkpoints in the city’s streets. The staging was obvious; nothing happened. Some drivers turned around when they saw SWAT vehicles parked in the middle of the road: there were no chases. The curtain rose. The image of reportage is suddenly different. The men’s poses become more important than the initial mission. What if all that was just a show put on for a journalist, the masked men merely actors during the space of an evening? Dissuasive images.

Presented by GDM, galerie de multiples
La galerie de multiples publishes and disseminates original works.
We will feature a selection of photos published by the galerie de multiples at COSMOS Arles Books.
As a publisher, the gallery is not connected to any technique, nor does it favour any medium. But our desire to make contemporary art more accessible by publishing many books quickly brought us into contact with photographers. We share the same concerns about production, dissemination and, sometimes, accessibility.
We have worked with photographers from different generations, levels of recognition, nationalities and worlds.
Each has invented a world he reveals to us, thereby helping to make photography an art.
All of these artists keep up a close connection to our shared experiences by inventing new views. Here, the act of photographing does not seek to capture reality, which must be transmitted, but a view, which reveals a singular relationship to the world. The point of art is not to bear witness to the world as much as to share a singular experience of it, a way of asserting that we can only have a common world by sharing singular ones. We would like to draw your attention to the work of a young Thai photographer, Viriya Chotpanyavisut.
His work renews our private view of the shared world (and, conversely, but paradoxically, our shared view of private perception). This goal seems unreachable in a culture where private and public experience gradually becomes indistinguishable, yet Chotpanyavisut keeps trying to achieve it. List of artists: Lewis Baltz, Julien Carreyn, Viriya Chotpanyavisut, Peter Downsbrough, Bill Owens, Atiq Rahimi.