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Ulysses in Arles

The trip to Arles turned into a “trip”. Six days and seven nights roaming the city, ruining our feet on the banks of the Rhône, the margins of the city, where the grass competes with the cement. Fifteen kilometers a day, scanning the streets, the squares, the sky, the water. La Roquette district, rue de la Calade, Ateliers Sncf, rue de l’Amphithéâtre, Trinquetaille, Alycamps, Les papeteries Etienne… A time to not only look, but to see and have “visions” of Arles.
The photographer is a clairvoyant. 


Always a city is both “urbs” and “civitas”. Walls and souls. Arles, with its ancient past, more than any other. But in the gaze of the wanderer, the stones and the people have mingled. Souls entered the walls. They made an image. They told the story. A whole people of stone spoke, cried, called in front of the lens. The drift has turned into a conference. The listening eye has perceived the echo of these voices coming from the ramparts.  Here on the plaster, in the granite, in the drippings of the cement, in the shards of earthenware pots, in plastic packaging, the faces of these helmeted warriors with shouting mouths, of these divine profiles who whisper enigmas, of these monsters that appear, of these sirens that sing under the folds of the drapes. Modern Ulysses experienced Arles. Man, he saw souls and faces everywhere, those of gods, heroes and monsters, gathered in this great parliament of silence. 

Trait pour trait, portraits


Thierry Konarzewski's work is an obsessive quest for the face. Through materials, things, environments. Portraiture, landscape or still life. Genres merge in this singular gaze which stalks the human figure everywhere. Men, souls, hymn to humanity. The photographer sings the face. Through its three incarnations: “visus”, “os”, or “vultum”. Three Latin words which each distinguish a part of this mystery, and attempt to make the signs speak. Because the face is “visus” (passive of the verb “to see”) – that which is seen. Because who can see our face? Otherwise the other who sees us. The face is “bone” (which gave “oral”) – mouth, place of origin of speech and cry. See, hear these cries and whispers that inhabit the walls. The face is “vultum”, mine, air of the human face, small theater of expressions, mirror of moods and passions that rage under the skin. Was it made of stone?  

In Arles, and on the walls, the photographer captured all these signs of presence. In a frontality that redoubles the face. To be complete, it would be necessary to add, as at the opening of this procession, the “head” which summarizes them, and which, in this skull-stone, a skull in ancient stone, gives the whole its depth of “vanity” … 


Texts by Thierry Grillet- Essayist

Ulysse en Arles exhibition at the MRO Foundation in Arles  - July 2015


Limited edition
Texts by Thierry Grillet 

Edition of 3 + 2 artist proofs

This is a set of 25 prints presented in two notebooks printed in a single strip, each assembled in an accordion fold.

NOTEBOOK -1- 28.5 cm H x 774 cm L

NOTEBOOK - 2 - 43 cm H x 798 cm L

Box size: 34 x 45cm
Paper : Hahnemühle German Etching 310 gr and Rice Paper 100 gr

Pigment prints and shaping by Atelier Fotodart

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