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Juana Rios Rios, “Juana de Cubana”, Fortune Teller (Cuba), 2012 │© Andres Serrano Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris, Bruxelles
Juana Rios Rios, “Juana de Cubana”, Fortune Teller (Cuba), 2012 │© Andres Serrano Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris, Bruxelles
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Unmissable Shows At The Maison Européene De La Photographie This Winter

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 10 November 2016
The Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris’ foremost gallery of contemporary photography, reopened this week with five new shows. Artists from the United States, and a theme frequently explored in the American photographic tradition, are showcased in four of these exhibitions, while India provided the initial spark for the vast, sprawling subject of the fifth and final exhibit. As ever, the MEP has provided a scintillating mix to brighten even the dullest winter day.

Andres Serrano

The sometimes controversial but always captivating portraitist Andres Serrano is presented here in a two-part exhibition, demonstrating the best of his work from the past 25 years. The first opens with his America (2001-2004) series, which was inspired by the events of 9/11 and contains selected shots from previous and later projects including Native Americans (1996), The Ku Klux Klan (1999), The Interpretation of Dreams (2000-2001), and Cuba (2012). The second section focusses on Serrano’s work with homeless people. This portion of his oeuvre dates back to Nomads (1990) and was updated most recently with Signs of the Times (2013), Residents of New York (2014), and Denizens of Brussels (2015).

Ahmed Osoble (Denizens of Brussels), 2015 │© Andres Serrano Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris, Bruxelles
Ahmed Osoble (Denizens of Brussels), 2015 │ | © Andres Serrano Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris, Bruxelles

Diana Michener – Anima, Animal

Diana Michener’s latest series, Anima, Animal, came about by accident on a trip to India in 2006. Overwhelmed by the commotion on the streets, she retreated into a zoological garden where she took a few shots of rhinos, elephants, and antelope. Troubled by these images of confinement, she continued to explore this theme at menageries, first in Paris, and then across Europe and the United States, spending hours in front of cages and attempting to connect through the lens with her subjects. Far beyond a simple study of animals in captivity, her work evolved into something closer to self-portraiture.

Untitled │© Diana Michener
Untitled │ | © Diana Michener

Family Pictures

Family is a theme common to many American artists, as much a part of their work as their work is a part of their lives. This show has been put together entirely with photographs from the MEP collection. Its title isn’t meant to be taken in the literal sense (meaning touching if unremarkable depictions of family life), but as a reference to an aesthetic project in which the photographers are either themselves a subject within a complex, often painful dynamic, or else affected in their creation of portraits by the intimate knowledge they possess of their models.

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, 1953 │© Elliott Erwitt, Magnum Photos Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. Don de l’auteur.
Elliott Erwitt, New York City, 1953 │ | © Elliott Erwitt, Magnum Photos Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. Don de l’auteur.

Harry Callahan – French Archives Aix-en-Provence, 1957-1958

While managing the Department of Photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Harry Callahan received a Graham Foundation grant to finance a project of his choosing. Tempted at first by northern Michigan, he instead traveled with his wife and seven-year-old daughter to Europe, settling between September 1957 and July 1958 in Aix-en-Provence. He set about exploring this small French town, concerned not with its rich heritage, but with the way the sun fell on its sunny streets, even in winter, which allowed him to continue his research into light and shade. In 1994, Callahan donated 130 original (mostly unpublished) prints to the MEP: the French Archives.

France, 1958 │© The Estate of Harry Callahan, Courtesy Pace-MacGill Gallery, New York, Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris - Don de l’auteur
France, 1958 │ | © The Estate of Harry Callahan, Courtesy Pace-MacGill Gallery, New York, Collection Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris - Don de l’auteur

Johann Rousselot – Now Delhi, Les Trente Désastreuses (Winner: Prix Photo Afd/Polka)

Johann Rousselot’s prize-winning series takes as its subject New Delhi, which centuries ago was the largest city in the world and is today again, almost without realizing it, with its megalopolises pushing this way and that by the forces of globalization. Rousselot traveled to India in order to document the challenges faced by its economic center – access to drinking water, energy, and transport infrastructure – and to highlight the paradoxes of life within its ever-expanding limits. More broadly, his series raises questions about the future of cities under pressure and how it impacts their inhabitants.

Delhi 21 - Highway to Hell? Séance de yoga matinale. Kaushambi, Delhi NCR, mars 2014 │© Johann Rousselot, Signatures
Delhi 21 – Highway to Hell? Séance de yoga matinale. Kaushambi, Delhi NCR, mars 2014 │ | © Johann Rousselot, Signatures

📅 Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 – Sunday, January 29th, 2017. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11AM–8PM. Closed public holidays.

📍 La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5/7 Rue de Fourcy, Paris, France, +33 1 4478 7500