The sad anti-climax to an orgy of a photo festival

By Beverly Spicer September 7th, 2008

Perhaps you have been wondering what has been happening since the last post. A lot, and at the same time, nothing at all, and the title is something I’ll explain in a moment.

It’s Sunday and many people are leaving for home, some are at the beach for a last party, and I’m in a hotel on a keyboard connected to the internet. It’s not my own computer, but it’s something. Wi-fi has again eluded me for over 24 hours, and as much as I would like to include some visuals, this post will be text-only.

Most of yesterday before the rain came was spent looking at books, getting the backstory from the photographers who produced them, and viewing various exhibitions at the Eglise des Dominicains, La Poudriere, Caserne Gallieni and Couvent Des Minimes. Almost all of the exhibition spaces are stand-alone architectural masterpieces, and there is something magnificent about seeing photos hung in a medieval space. I don’t mean to sound like a travelog, but the juxtaposition the old and new, of silent stone and powerful image, makes the experience at Perpignan even more moving. I urge you to go to the Visa Pour L’Image site to explore the exhibition links within.

So, the rain had its way with the grand finale to the festival, and a misfortunate series of circumstances forced the cancellation of the last evening’s Soiree as well as an elaborate after-party scheduled to follow the show. When I think of the work that was scheduled to be shown on this night of all nights, it makes me sad all the way around. I’m sad for the consistently enthusiastic viewers, for the Visa staff that worked so hard for the special 20th anniversary of Visa Pour L’Image, and most especially for the photographers whose work was to be shown in the last in a series of some of the best presentations that can be seen anywhere.

I hope Director Jean-Francois Leroy et. al will post the multimedia presentations online, so that all of us can see them. I would love to see what we missed last night, and would surely watch again and again what was shown earlier in the week.

Will post some more images as soon as possible. Till then, the good news is that Getty will be a major sponsor of Visa Pour L’Image for at least the next four years, guaranteeing there will be a major venue for international photojournalism in the future. With the state of news and journalism the way it is going, this is more than heartwarming. There is much more about that topic to explore. Later.

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