French are good at lighting monuments and streets, designing wine labels, creating myths. So is not surprising that the "Rencontres d'Arles" dedicated to Art photography are a perfect window for our small world of creativity. They make a show (that succeed in create discussions - wow!) at every night projection in the Roman theater (great setting), and the night-long spread of projection screens throughout the city is a real happening, a must-be-there occasion in the year. Well done, my American friends will say!
Let's give a look at the substance of it, just to stay on the real side of the profession. There were ideas and some good pictures, although I found more inspiring for pure photography the shows of Giacomelli and Haas (from the 50ies!). But, as a whole, there is a clear sign of a new direction in which different forms of art and communication will merge. The concept of single prints is opening up to a more complex combination of messages, contents, interactions. Maybe the goal is not clear yet, but I think this evolution is needed and positive. I have seen some young photographer's work that is meaningful and strong: let's just hope they'll find the way to have their ideas supported and developed. There were also areas full of emptiness, but this part of the game, of course.
The better part is the sensation of easiness and pleasure that visitors and professionals created there. So different from the tense desperation of Perpignan, the tragic "end of photojournalism!". I think this positiveness is a good starting point for photographers: take it easy, we are still producing art! And, as Franco Fontana once said in a interview "Our is not hard work! Hard work is in the mines!"