Spectrum Photographic packed our bags and headed to France for the opening of Arles 2018 last week.
The 49th Recontres d’Arles is on until September 23. Here are just some of our highlights.
Jonas Bendiksen: The Last Testament
Bendiksen has always been fascinated by enclaves and people living in isolated communities.
Satellites looked at separatist republics in the former USSR. In 2005 The Places We Live became a three-year journey through a different type of enclave – the urban slum.
His latest project, The Last Testament, chronicles seven men who all claim to be the Second Coming of Christ.
Bendiksen combines personal testimonies with intimate portraits allowing viewers a rare insight into the lives of these men and their followers.
He immerses himself among their disciples, taking at face value that each of his subjects is the one true Messiah.
Bendiksen’s journey saw him escaping an angry mob with the Jesus of Kitwe and witnessing the End of Days with Moses in South Africa.
The resulting account is both compelling and disturbing.
The Last Testament photo book was published in September 2017.
Jonas Bendisken, The Last Testament, Église Sainte-Anne, until August 26.
Raymond Depardon: Depardon USA, 1968-1999
This remarkable exhibition brings together Depardon’s American body of work for the first time.
The photo journalist’s first report from the United State was at a Democratic National Convention beleaguered by anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in 1968.
In the New York summer of 1981 he sent a photo and caption to the Libération newspaper each day for a month. This Correspondance new-yorkaise, with its series of unlikely shots, is thought to have marked a turning point in his photographic career.
The following year he toured the western United States, from New Mexico to California. He returned to America in 1999, this time capturing the spectacular landscapes of Arizona, Montana and South Dakota, in tall shots.
Depardon USA, 1968-1999 brings together 76 photographs from his American travels.
Many of the shots are unpublished.
Raymond Depardon, Depardon USA, 1968-1999, Espace Van Gogh, until September 23.
Palais De Tokyo Pia Rondé & Fabien Saleil: Topophile Des Cendres
In 2013, the Palais de Tokyo launched an outside-the-walls program featuring projects by emerging artists.
For Rencontres d’Arles 2018, Palais de Tokyo invited artistic duo Rondé and Saleil to create a stunning group of works.
The duo’s work is an offshoot of photography, sitting between drawing, engraving, sculpture and installation.
It is based on the observation of nature, confronted with human culture.
Rondé and Saleil will produce an unprecedented group of works at Arles 2018, all shown in a former 12th-century chapel.
They have worked collaboratively since 2010.
Palais De Tokyo, Pia Rondé & Fabien Saleil, Topophile Des Cendres, Chapelle De La Madeleine, until August 26.
Cristina De Middel & Bruno Morais: Midnight at the Crossroads
The histories of America and Africa are irrevocably linked.
In Latin America, the African presence is strongly alive across the continent despite historical attempts to silence or dilute its voice.
Its influence can be found behind almost every cultural manifestation in the region.
Historically, Èsù is the sole messenger between gods and humans. He is the first to be invoked in ceremonies and is the guardian of alleys, crossroads and markets.
This exhibition takes viewers on a journey into the deep roots of African spirituality in Benin, Cuba, Brazil and Haiti.
Cristina De Middel is a Spanish photojournalist, trained as a war correspondent with a masters in fine art.
Bruno Morais is a Brazilian photographer and founder of the Colectivo Pandilla in Rio de Janeiro.
Cristina De Middel & Bruno Morais, Midnight at the Crossroads, Croisiére, until September 23.
Every summer since 1970, Rencontres d’Arles has been a major influence in disseminating the best of world photography.
It includes more than 40 exhibitions across the city’s exceptional heritage sites.
The festival has a worldwide reputation as springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talent.
Arles 2018 is on until September 23.
For more information on all the exhibitions taking place visit www.rencontres-arles.com/en
Main image: Installation shot, JONAS BENDIKSEN, THE LAST TESTAMENT