An exhibition exploration of black and white photography and the role it has in artistic expression and history.
The digitalisation of photography has brought with it a normalisation and commercialisation of colour photography. Despite this posing a reasonable threat for black and white photography, it has remained in place, with a firmly founded artistic bias. Deemed elitist and backward-looking by some, for its defenders it represents a guarantee of graphic and artistic excellence, of poetry, of symbolic distancing, of universality. The National Library of France houses a huge collection of monochrome photography and has consistently supported the artists that committed to black and white photography.
This exhibition brings together different periods, currents and techniques to present 204 photographers from 36 countries from the perspective of black and white photography, without any chronological constraint. By its profusion, it invites the observer to gain a sense of all the power and creative vivacity of black and white photography.