Mr President of the Regional Council, Mr Deputy, Mr Monsieurle Minister (Michel VAUZELLE), Mr Vice President of the Bouches-du-Rhône General Council, Delegate for Culture (Michel PEZET), Mr Mayor of Arles, Vice President of the General Council of the Bouches-du-Rhône (Hervé SCHIAVETTI),Mr President of the Rencontres d'Arles, Mr Minister (Jean-Noël JEANNENEY),Mr Director of the Rencontres (François HEBEL),Dear Friends of the LUMA Foundation, Dear Maja HOFFMANN,Ladies and Gentlemen,

I recalled this last night, at the opening of the 41st Annual Conference:
chosen to make photography an essential part of my work at the
head of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Because it is at the heart of the digital revolution that constitutes one of the
major issues of today and tomorrow, and one of my priorities, because
that she accompanies each one of us on a daily basis, and that she is so
emblematic of this “culture for everyone” of which I made my ideal and
the structuring axis of my policy, photography must also have all
its place in the structure of this ministry which concerns it in all respects,
since he is in charge of heritage, creation and cultural industries.
There is no love without proof of love, it is said: even if it is always
difficult to accurately estimate the amount of funding that the department
dedicated to a sector, due to the large number of institutions that have
shares – including the largest, including the BNF and the Centre
Pompidou – I can say that at least €10 million has been allocated
to photography. It remains little, I agree, but this
is by no means negligible, moreover in the context of crisis and
necessary budgetary restraint that we know, a context well
harder than I could have expected when I arrived. However, I am
convinced that by mobilizing more effectively the resources we
we can do a lot.
It is precisely to give our photographic policy all the impetus
that I put in place last March, at the time of the
Early launch of these Rencontres d'Arles 2010, a
photography, directed by Daniel BARROY and Manuel BAMBERGER and
under the authority of one of my close collaborators, Francis
LACLOCHE. This mission aims to create a single interlocutor,
identified by all, to remedy the scattering of structures,
lack of visibility and readability, and insufficient dialogue between
the different components of the ministry, and the public actors
and deprived of the profession.
This mission began work without delay. To take stock of the situation
and put forward proposals, it organized a commission of
reflection that brought together nearly 80 professionals of photography, that I
thank you for your valuable time on this issue
collective. No less than 12 sessions have already been conducted drumming.
This committee was divided into four working groups, including the
are all present today: Daniel BARROY, head of the
Mission of photography, Sylvie AUBENAS, Director of the Department
photography and prints at the National Library of France,
Valérie THÉVENAUD-VIOLETTE, director of the Figaro syndication,
Jacques HÉMON, President of the Image Observatory, and finally Patrick
TALBOT, who led with great talent, until a few weeks ago,
the National School of Photography in Arles.
Together they have done a remarkable job, which was completed on the 18th
In June, the first pragmatic and concrete proposals were put forward.
These proposals, which I will present to you, we will start to
implement them. Each relevant directorate or institution of my
responsibility. The Mission de la photographie will
will coordinate and monitor the success of the project, and
professionals will be regularly informed of the progress of
works. Because I am convinced that success will be collective or not
From this set of proposals, I already remember several
We need to address this concern of many
photographers today: how to ensure tomorrow’s preservation and
transmission of their works, a fortiori in the context of crisis that
know the agencies? It is our duty to preserve and make
to know the historical background, a veritable "attic" of our memory
We will therefore organize the identification of these funds, facilitate all
times it will be necessary to organize deposits and, in the
extension of two years of work on donations
received by the State, we will create a Commission of
gifts and photographic legacies.
I would like to return in particular to the question of State management
the funds for which he is responsible, which is also a subject of
concern, which is regularly raised during these meetings. I
believe that we are engaged in a dynamic
positive. The controversy born in the early 2000s on this issue
had created a malaise. The removal in 2004 of the association
«Photographic heritage» which managed 14 donations on behalf of
the state, had opened four years of conflict, until an agreement was reached
finally found with new commitments of the State.
My position here is unambiguous: I gave priority to the translation of
commitments made.
The LARTIGUE donation first of all: the means have been made available,
despite the budgetary context, to create a magnificent space
exhibition and meetings. I would like to thank Maryse here
CORDESSE and Martine D'ASTIER who mobilized without counting
with the department to make this project a success, and I want to assure them
of my support.
The 14 funds that were formerly managed by Heritage
photographic» today preserved at Fort Saint-Cyr will join
also, as we committed to, the Charenton-le-
Bridge, on the same date. But steps were taken immediately,
in accordance with the commitments made: with recruitment
priorities, the Media Library of
architecture and heritage has achieved, in just two years, the essential
inventory work that had not been completed during the fifteen
previous years; the conditions of conservation of Fort Saint-Cyr
have been improved; Internet presentations of these funds are
now proposed; the loan policy has been developed, to
ensure the distribution of these works in smaller exhibitions, in
exhibitions by the Jeu de Paume. Finally, the
commercial distribution, now carried out by the photographic agency of
Meeting of National Museums (NMR) is working well.
Other institutions under the Ministry are not
I would also like to commend the remarkable work done, for example,
the Centre Georges Pompidou, to which Mrs HERVÉ, widow of Lucien
HERVÉ, has just granted an exceptional photographic donation.
The National Library of France presented last winter a
remarkable exhibition on the work of Michael KENNA.
We will also have to imagine new modes of
successful collaboration between the public and private sectors, including
for the enhancement of works. I am pleased that in the case of the work
of Willy RONIS – whose disappearance has shocked us all – this
valuation could continue despite inventory operations
current estate, and especially that it could give rise to both
this superb exhibition realized by the Jeu de Paume at the Monnaie de
Paris, but also in the pursuit of a collaboration with the Rapho agency:
the numerous small exhibitions, and the operations carried out with the
The press benefited from the know-how of the teams in place.
I would not like to finish this first point concerning preservation and
the enrichment of funds, without expressing to you my questions, which, I
know, are also yours, concerning the lack of a room dedicated to
exhibitions of historical photographs since the closing of the hall
hotel in Sully. This is a real problem. The services of my
continue their search for a suitable room, and the contribution of the
It would obviously be welcome here too.
2/ The second axis concerns the exploitation of photographic heritage.
Professionals have often stressed the need for better
exhibition circulation, with a greater impetus given to the
research, as well as the need for more legible access to
photographs held by public institutions, but also
It is for this very purpose that I will shortly be setting up a
photography portal: backed by the Agence photographique de la RMN,
which now has a great tool and qualified staff, this
portal will provide information on institutions for professionals
which retain the funds, in particular on the conditions under which
works can be lent or used. It will also allow all and
everyone to discover in the best conditions this art at once
magistral and popular.
To better circulate the exhibitions, we will set up with
a location and we will organize meetings
to generate new ideas and fruitful synergies
of means.
In this field of valorization, I would like to pay tribute to
the excellent work done by Marta GILI at the head of the Jeu de Paume: this
institution has already fulfilled its objective – if I may say in speaking
of photography…– , ensuring programming that reflects all
the range of photography, from its beginnings to
the most advanced contemporary advances.
Following the loss of the Sully hotel hall for exhibitions
history, it has entered into a partnership with the Château de Tours, which
allows not to expose the original prints, but makes possible the continuation
of its mission. On the Concorde site, the "major exhibitions" are
are associated through satellite programming with a
bold discovery logic in line with the ambition of
and will also host the major exhibition
dedicated to the work of André KERTÉSZ, the result of a three-year
preparation of Michel FRIZOT.
3/ The third axis concerns new modes of production and dissemination,
and the need to adapt our support policies.
The new digital media are not just
new means of dissemination, but an opening to a new
photographic language, which creators know how to grasp.
The modes of intervention of the State to the profound changes currently in
the work must also adapt to this new language and these
new creative practices, especially for new
That’s why I intend to relaunch the command policy, and you
A presentation of the
orders launched this year. I also want to relaunch the
production aid, increasing significantly to the extent of
our constraints, the amounts that will be allocated.
At the same time I will examine with my government colleagues
how to promote agencies' access to repayable advances
“big loan” in favour of digitization: this is a key issue,
both in terms of heritage preservation and support
for this sector, which must find its full place in the
“knowledge society”.
This crucial issue requires that the conditions for
initial and continuing training of professionals.
The National School of Photography, the only institution
dedicated exclusively to this art, has already found its place
in the landscape thanks to the impulse given him by Patrick TALBOT.
But she must be able tomorrow, with Rémy FENZY, to have the means
of its new ambition, by integrating fully into teaching
higher, that is, by working in partnership with universities
and with major training institutions such as the National Institute
History of Art (INHA) or the National Heritage Institute (INP). It
must also develop its registration in international networks
exchanges, drawing all the fruit of its new proximity to the foundation
The School will thus contribute to the implementation in Arles of the
cultural, scientific and image processing centre of excellence
we all hope that it will meet the major challenges
international visibility in terms of culture, culture and
research and higher education, that is to say
less communication of knowledge and arts.
Its deployment on the site of the former SNCF workshops must be possible
studied, in a configuration that will also allow the
Photo Archive Centre I mentioned last year here
even the need.
New premises are indeed essential to set up
this ambition, and I would like to thank Maja HOFFMANN for her
generosity, passion and efficiency in this project. This
will only be realized through joint funding from the State and
territorial communities. As for the ministry, I will launch
a study on both the pedagogical project and the
conditions for future implementation, so that with our partners
we can examine the feasibility of this operation. This project
will integrate the archive center, whose beautiful exhibition presented this
initiative of the department is a kind of
This archive centre will be designed as a pilot site for the
preservation and processing of photographic or archival holdings
related to photography. It will have, near, a space
exhibition and development. This centre will be able to accommodate, for
funds belonging to the State, local authorities or
private structures, especially large agencies that have
history of photography during the twentieth century, it will be
particularly open to regional representations
At the same time, we will develop, with all the institutions
involved in raising the awareness of young audiences, a work of support
and networking which is currently lacking.
In fact, I, like the Committee on
photography, emphasize the importance of image and
As always, and fortunately, the actors did not wait for the State
to take initiatives! The Photographic Center of Ile de France in
Pontault-Combault, the Lectoure Photography Centre or the museum
Nicéphore Niepce in Châlons-sur-Saône, were forerunners; in
next September, the BAL will open its doors in Paris, allowing
concretize physically the multidisciplinary work already carried out,
for many audiences, through the “Fabrique du regard”.
For the Ministry, the “Scripture of Light” program which knows
since 2008 a considerable success, will continue to develop, on all the
the territory, partnerships with the structures and artists who
will wish.
This joint work with professionals will continue on many others
subjects essential to the vitality of our photography. You know
especially the importance I attach to photojournalism.
The report I commissioned on this issue was provided to me
a few weeks and was sent to professional organizations.
We will work with them immediately, and we will determine
together the topics on which we can move forward. A new
will be open to the new school year. I intend to go to Perpignan,
to “Image Visa” on August 30. This must be my opportunity to
address in depth the major issues of photojournalism that I am committed to
The essential is there: the State is giving itself the means to a policy
ambitious in consultation with you.
Photography, both by its capacity of seduction that makes it a pillar of
“culture for everyone” through the effects of the “digital revolution”
on practices and dissemination only by its own dynamism which
leads him to take his place in a policy of international poles, is
at a turning point in its history and must therefore become an essential
our cultural policy.