City Diary

Jean-Kenta Gauthier | Vaugirard

November 6, 2021 - January 29, 2022

Jean-Kenta Gauthier Vaugirard
4, rue de la Procession 75015 Paris

Opening hours: Wed - Sat, 2pm - 7pm

We will be closed from December, 24 to January, 5.

The exhibition is extended until January 29.

The City Diary exhibition, presented from 6 November to 23 December 2021 (extended until January 29, 2022) at Jean-Kenta Gauthier / Vaugirard gallery, consists of an immersive installation of 48 large-format prints of photographs made by Anders Petersen between 1967 and 2018. All of these photographs will be published in volumes #4 to #7 of the famous City Diaries by the Swedish photographer. First published in 2012 by Steidl, volumes #1 to #3 were the subject of numerous exhibitions and awarded the Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation Book Prize the same year. A first draft of this project was presented in 2016 as part of the City Diary exhibition organized at the Musée Delacroix in Paris, in collaboration with Jean-Kenta Gauthier gallery.

City Diaries brings together, in the form of a diary, a vast collection of photographs made by Anders Petersen (born in Sweden in 1944) since the beginning of his career, during his wanderings through the cities of the world. The situations photographed are varied: the behaviour of humans alone or in groups, everyday encounters - with objects, animals, people - or the spectacles of nature. The viewer can guess the artist's position: that of a man who travels the world and who, gifted with an inexhaustible capacity for astonishment, pauses and composes images which each convey a feeling of suspension, of floating, suggesting a questioning, an intimacy between the photographed subject and the author. Made over the last five decades in Las Palmas, New York, Stockholm, Shanghai or Valparaiso, the photographs in City Diaries give little information about the place where they were made. As Anne Biroleau, curator of the Department of Prints and Photography at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, writes: ?Petersen invents the exterior space and its light, dismisses the picturesque and conventions, and adjusts the world to his own measure.? If the work of Anders Petersen seems at first sight to explore the intersections between normality and marginality, resemblance and difference, the object of the work is however elsewhere. For in all circumstances, Anders Petersen maintains an absolute benevolence, erasing all judgment, to the point of placing any subject, be it a human or an object, on an equal footing with himself. ?I want my images, even when I photograph an apple, to be a self-portrait?, he insists.

Conceived as an installation of photographs covering all the gallery's walls, the exhibition houses prints simply pinned to the walls according to the will of the artist, who is reiterating the scenographic principle of his very first exhibition. In April 1970, he pinned to the walls of Café Lehmitz in the Reeperbahn district of Hamburg, a collection of 350 photographs. The fruit of several years of immersion in the red light district of the German port city, his daily contact with the regulars of Café Lehmitz - his ?family?, as he likes to call them - led to the publication of the legendary Café Lehmitz by Schirmer/Mosel in 1978. This principle of mural compositions based on the corners of the gallery space is also reminiscent, on a completely different scale, of both the book and the contact sheet - primordial objects for Petersen who, since the 1960s, has never stopped photographing the world in black and white on film. ?Because?, he adds without hesitation, ?there are more colours in black and white.?

? Jean-Kenta Gauthier, October 2021

Anders Petersen: City Diary is part of Photo Days, the photography and video festival presenting projects in about 80 locations in Paris and around from November 1 to 30, 2021.

Press kit