LE BAL is presenting a range of the cooperative’s treasures with contemporary prints and designs for books and publications dating from the creation of Magnum Photos (1947) till 1977. This year marks both 70 years of Magnum Photos and the completion of an archive making thousands of contemporary prints at last accessible : Magnum Analog Recovery (M.A.R.).
This collection, stored in the Magnum archives in Paris in boxes and bearing the name of each of the photographers, brings together the “postcard” prints sent out to the European Magnum agents for distribution to the press between 1947 and the end of the 1970s. Yet this archive only contains a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of prints distributed by the Paris office during those 30 years. Only in rare cases do the stored images bear captions and the typed texts and captions accompanying the images have not always been preserved. Great icons of the 20th century are to be found alongside images never previously seen or exhibited : they are part of a dialogue linked to what the photographers had to say regarding the definition or contradictions inherent in their work and what was at stake, at a time when the world’s largest ever collective of photographers was taking shape. Their words call to mind just as many contradictory approaches to photography as the images themselves – the other side of the coin strewn with doubts and tensions which makes this array of “witnesses to the transitory” more resonant than ever.
Magnum Analog Recovery
29 Apr – 27 Aug 2017