Solo exhibition / Retrospective
»MARC RIBOUD – WORLD. POLITICS. LIFE«
The First Retrospective in Berlin
Exhibition: October 7 – December 17, 2016
Curated by Lorène Durret & Nico Foss
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 13-19h
Photography cannot change the world,
but it can show it, especially when the world is changing.”
World politics and daily life, awareness and anonymity, public sphere and intimacy – in the pictures of Marc Riboud (born 1923) human being, regardless of social status or role, is at the heart of his oeuvre. The contrast of the portraits of Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, Mao or the Dalai Lama with photographs of people and situations from the center of society show that a human being in their privacy stands behind every orchestration. In this context, Riboud raises the question if, instead of a politician, an unknown person working against the system can remain in our collective memory.
Marc Riboud’s pictures with their strong visual imagery and impressive subjects, rank as classics of reportage photography and are unique documents of major political events. In the 1950s, he documented the political and social upheavals in India and Asia as well as China dominated by the Mao regime. He photographed Fidel Castro immediately after the Cuban missile crisis while international relations were being reorganized. In 1973, he captured the historic meeting between Leonid Breshnev and Richard Nixon – an attempt at detente during the Cold War.
Street scenes in Havana, Cuban workers in a metal factory, laborers in Asia – these images move beyond the political actors and events to reveal expressive moments in everyday life in the respective countries. Marc Riboud so expands and completes his reports days to show a view of ordinary people with all their humanity, their sense of community and their joy amid strict doctrines.
For the first time in Berlin, Galerie 36 presents a solo show exhibition of Marc Riboud’s extensive oeuvre. His most famous works are displayed as well as previously unseen photographs, such as a series of images from Cuba and the former USSR. The exhibition includes some 50 original vintage prints, curated by Lorène Durret and Nico Foss. Marc Riboud’s book “Cuba,” recently published by Editions de La Martinière, contains articles from Wim Wenders and Jean Daniel alongside Riboud’s photographs.
Marc Riboud, born in 1923 in Saint-Genis-Laval in Lyon, took his first photographs in 1937 using a small vest pocket Kodak at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. In 1944, he jointed the Resistance in the Vercors. From 1945 to 1948 he studied engineering at the École Centrale in Lyon and then starts to work in a factory. Three years later he decided to become a photographer. The picture “The Painter on the Eiffel Tower” was his first publication in Life Magazine 1953. Invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, he joined the agency Magnum Photos. From 1955 Marc Riboud traveled extensively in the Middle East, Afghanistan, India, China and Japan. After a three-month stay in the USSR, he moved to Algeria and sub-Saharan Africa in 1960, where he depicted the struggles for independence photographically.
As one of the few photographers allowed entry, he created photographic reports in South and North Vietnam in 1968-1969. In the 1980s and 1990s, he regularly returned to Southeast Asia, especially Angkor and Huang Shan. In 2011 Marc Riboud donated to the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris a total of 192 original photographs from the period between 1953 and 1977. His work has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries in Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, etc. He received many awards, including two from the Overseas Press Club, the ICP Infinity Award and the Nadar prize for his book “Into the Orient”. Marc Riboud was 93 years old when he died in Paris on August 30, 2016.
Galerie 36 – a new place for photography in Berlin
Among the restoration and opulence, between Gründerzeit and modernism – what emerges at Chausseestraße 36 is a unique location devoted to historical and contemporary photography. Since 2012 this former officers’ house has been carefully renovated to preserve its rich historical substance using sustainable, and whenever possible, original materials. The reconstruction and expansion of the building follows an architectural approach to design, furnishing the 5-story space in various historical styles from 1900 until today.
The gallery’s exhibition space stretches across 400m2 of the building. The space is characterized by the concept of the salon which breaks decidedly with the idea of the gallery as a neutral white cube. Besides exhibitions of national and international photographers as well as the advancement and promotion of young talent, Galerie 36 is an open space for cooperation with private collectors, museums and other institutions. Currently home to a library, publishing house, art collection and analogue photo lab – following completion in 2017, the house will host further cultural activities. Galerie 36 is under the artistic direction of Mona Mathé.
Current exhibition at Galerie 36: