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A Lesson in Photography by Specialist Michel Poivert

Published on , by Sophie Bernard

Curator of a forthcoming exhibition on a pivotal moment in the medium at the Pavillon populaire in Montpellier, the chairman of the Collège international de photographie has published a book on counterculture as it is expressed today.

© Laura Henno A Lesson in Photography by Specialist Michel Poivert

© Laura Henno

If you were to list different generations of photographers since the rise of the medium in 1839, which ones would they be? At the beginning, there were the inventors who wanted to use a recording technique. Very early on, they imagined obtaining a faithful image, and also in color, and even in relief. These pioneers, who are often described as "primitive", were succeeded by a second generation starting in the 1870s, who experienced the industrial emancipation of photography, which was somewhat similar to the printing industry. Then, at the end of the 19th century, Kodak led to the widespread of the image culture: this was the beginning of amateur photography, which developed at the same time as the illustrated press. The figure of the photojournalist was dominant until the 1970s when photography was recognized as a legitimate art form. How did the mutation from reporter to author take place? I tend to think that it happened in the 1950s and 1960s, meaning in a particular context: after two World Wars, and decolonization... The public was confronted with a propagandistic use of images, so that there was a crisis regarding truth and…
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