Regards de Loire, 20 years of photographic perspectives of the Loire

Published on 29 September 2020 - Updated 02 June 2021
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As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Loire Valley’s inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Mission Val de Loire is staging an exhibition showcasing 20 years of photographic perspectives of the Loire. This exhibition highlights the importance of this medium in measures to promote and raise awareness of the listed site.

Owing to the health measures laid down by the authorities, the exhibition inaugurated at Château de Tours on 22 October last year has temporarily closed.  

Until the original exhibition can be accessed again, Mission Val de Loire is making these views of the Loire available in the form of a virtual exhibition:  

  

https://www.artsteps.com/view/5fa018904039214c44fc3f02  

On 30 November 2000, UNESCO recognised the Loire Valley as an organically evolved, continuing landscape, shaped jointly over time by humankind and nature. Photography offers up an endless number of ways to capture this region: through its fauna or flora, its architecture in connection with its geomorphology, its trades, or through its colours and atmospheres. We explore the region through its defining features – stone, vines, gardens and water – identified at the time of its inscription. Four features whose history has forever been interwoven with that of the women and men who have lived here. In this way they provide a common theme running through this exhibition marking the listing’s 20thanniversary.  

Comparative perspectives of the Loire Valley 

For Mission Val de Loire, photography has always been a tool for raising awareness of the region and a communication means. For this exhibition, it called on some thirty photographers with contrasting perspectives. In front of a lens, the human and non-human elements naturally complement each other. The artists’ “free” assignments go hand-in-hand with scientific missions, performed according to a predefined protocol, or with the projects of young photographers on residency programmes. All of these perspectives explore the four themes outlined – whether directly or not. Through their varied approaches, whether practical or artistic, the images prompt a constant interaction with study, mystery and imagination. The perspective alternates between shots captured by chance and others that have been carefully staged, between the time-bound and the timeless, real and abstract, personal and universal. 

Reconsidering photography for a better understanding of landscape

The exhibition is an opportunity to take stock: to reconsider the role of photography in the context of Mission Val de Loire’s activities. Alongside longstanding collaborations, new partnerships are emerging. Accordingly, the winners of the  Prix Mark Grosset  award and the artist-in-residency at La Colombière illustrate a new generation of photographers, with a new sense of adventure and observation. The 20th anniversary of the World Heritage listing sets the stage for considering our link with photography afresh, as well as with the Loire and its landscapes. It provides an opportunity to stop and learn from some, while following the discoveries of others.  

Useful information

Leaflet for the exhibition "Regards de Loire" (PDF, 907.52 KB)  

Press kit for the exhibition "Regards de Loire" (PDF, 1.56 MB)  

An event organised with the support of the  Pays de la Loire Region  and the  Centre-Val de Loire Region  as part of the initiatives  Nouvelles Renaissances  Promenades Photographiques , the  City of Tours  and  Château de Tours .  

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