Untitled Document
Beatrix von Conta
Beatrix von Conta
Courtesy galerie Le Rverbre, Lyon
Bilingual : French / English

Beatrix von Conta, née à Kaiserslautern en Allemagne en 1949, s’installe en France en 1975 comme photographe. Elle vit aujourd’hui près de Romans-sur-Isère dans la Drôme.
La galerie Le Réverbère à Lyon représente son travail depuis 1992 et l’a montré  régulièrement lors d’expositions personnelles et collectives à la galerie, la FIAC et Paris Photo.

Son travail photographique est traversé et nourri par la question de la mémoire du paysage et de sa mutation plus ou moins violente. Qu’il s’agisse des lieux dévastés par des catastrophes naturelles, comme le massif de la Sainte-Victoire brulé lors de l’incendie de 1989, abordé dans SAINTE-VICTOIRE  (1988-1994) et publié chez Images en Manoeuvres Editions, par les ravages de la guerre 14-18 au coeur de RECONNAISSANCES  (1989/1990), série montrée aux Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles en 1992, ou par le chamboulement qu’engendrent les chantiers gigantesques comme ceux de la construction du « Grand Littoral » à Marseille, INDÉLÉBILE  (1996) ou du « Grimaldi Forum » à Monaco, EN FER  (1998/1999). Dans COUPURES/REPRISES  (2007), ensemble réalisé à Beauvais dans le cadre d’une résidence à Diaphane et publié chez Créaphis, elle scrute le tissu urbain d’une ville dont le centre a été détruit à 80% par les bombardements allemands de 1940 et dans IMAGES DE VANOISE, LE PAYSAGE À L’HEURE DU JOUR , la question de la mémoire du paysage sous-tend les trois années consacrées à l’Observatoire photographique des paysages de Vanoise (2006-2008), premier observatoire photographique en altitude en France.

Lors d’une mission que lui confie le Grand Lyon en 2010, elle réalise LES INFILTRÉS , travail sur la présence végétale dans l’espace urbain. TEL QUEL , une suite d’images de rencontres paysagères, commencée en 1999, se construit librement au fil des années et des déplacements. AQUA  (2010/2011) et AU BORD DES EAUX MÊLÉES  (2011/2012), issus de deux résidences à lux-Scène nationale à Valence, explorent la problématique de l’eau en Drôme et Ardèche. Son exposition TIMISOARA, ENTRE GRIS ET VERT  aux Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie en Gaspésie/Québec en 2011, débouche sur une résidence qui s’est poursuivie en 2012 et dont le résultat LE GRAND ECART  a été exposé à Paspébiac en Gaspésie/Québec en 2013 et en 2014 à la galerie Le Réverbère. Une publication aux Editions Bernard Chauveau est envisagée pour l’automne 2015. TRAVERSÉES PAYSAGÈRES  à l’Espace Malraux à Chambéry en 2012, retrace dix ans de photographie. En 2013, dans DÉRIVE DES RIVES , résidence photographique itinérante sur le Rhône, elle reprend un dispositif d’installation de miroirs, déjà mis en oeuvre dans MIROIRS AUX ALOUETTES  (2004/2005) et SURFACES DE CONTACT (2009).

Pendant les mêmes années, elle finalise FLUX , dans le cadre de France(s), territoire liquide, projet collectif d’une nouvelle mission photographique sur le territoire français et publié au Seuil en 2014 (« Frances(s) Territoire liquide», texte de Jean-Christophe Bailly, Collection Fiction et Cie).
Elle continue d’explorer l’univers des barrages en France dans son travail L’EAU BARRÉE, montré en 2014 à la galerie Le Réverbère à Lyon. Commencé il y a dix ans, cette recherche a reçu en 2011 une Bourse d’Aide individuelle à la création / DRAC Rhône-Alpes et figuré sur la shortliste du prix « Talents Contemporains - Talents d’Or » de la Fondation Schneider. Le volet sur la construction du barrage sur le Rizzanese en Corse est exposé en novembre 2015 et janvier 2016 à Bastia et Ajaccio dans le cadre du Centre Méditerranéen de la Photographie.

En 2016, FLUX est exposé à la Maison de la Culture de Frontenac à Montréal, Québec, dans le cadre de France(s), territoire liquide et DÉRIVE DES RIVES est exposé durant le Hong Kong International Photo Festival. Sur un coup de cœur pour la ville du Havre, elle réalise entre 2015 et 2017 le projet FRANCISCOPOLIS qui élargit le regard sur cette ville  au-delà du centre reconstruit par Auguste Perret après la guerre. Il a été montré en 2017 dans l'exposition De la marche à la démarche à la galerie Le Réverbère, Lyon.
Dans le cadre d’une résidence mise en place par le Centre Hospitalier Métropole Savoie, elle explore l’ancien Centre Hospitalier de Chambéry avant destruction, qui aboutie à l’exposition LE VAISSEAU FANTÔME en 2017.


Une résidence photographique d'un mois à Hongkong initiée par l’Alliance Française, le Hong Kong International Photo Festival et Diaphane - Pôle photographique de Picardie aboutit à HONG-KONG, AU-DELÀ DES CLICHÉS. Une exploration des New territories bien loin du mirage hongkongais, montrée aux Photaumnales de Beauvais en 2017 et à Paris Photo en 2018.

De 2016 à 2019, elle explore dans le projet AUX SOURCES sa ville natale en Allemagne, Kaiserslautern. L'œuvre est présentée en 2019 au Theodor-Zink-Museum de la ville et en 2018 à la galerie Le Réverbère dans le cadre de l'exposition Honneur aux éditeurs !
Fin 2018, les éditions Loco, Paris, publient une importante monographie consacrée à 20 ans de son travail sur le paysage : Glissement de terrain.
Beatrix von Conta a été sélectionnée pour participer à la Mission photographique Grand-Est 2019-2020.



English
 

Beatrix von Conta was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
She lives in France near Romans-sur-Isère in the Drôme region.
Her work is represented by the gallery Le Réverbère, Lyon, since 1992


At the age of six she discovered the catalogue  of the exhibition The Family of Men, organized in 1955 by Steichen at the MOMA in New York, which became her bedside book.
After having studied languages and art history at the universities of Mainz and Heidelberg, she graduated from the Schwäbisch Gmünd Pedagogical University of Applied Sciences (English and art education) in 1972. Then she moved to Aix-en-Provence in the same year thanks to a scholarship from the Robert E. Schmidt-Stiftung for studies of roman philology and art history at the University of Aix-en-Provence. She then spent a year at Martha Hoepffner's experimental photography school in Kressbronn, Germany, before settling in France definitly.

The discovery in 1975 of the International Meetings of Photography in Arles and the meeting with Jean Dieuzaide, and Eugene Smith, internationally known photographers, proved to be foundational for her career as a photographer.

 In 1976, Jean Dieuzaide, offered her her first major solo exhibition at the Château d'Eau Gallery in Toulouse.
Close to the Viva Agency, her photographic approach was in line with the tradition of social photography culminating in 1980 in an exhibition at the Nicéphore Niépce Museum and in 1982 in the publication of the book Ein Kind fällt nicht vom Himmel (A child doesn't fall from the sky), a long work of photographic investigation and interviews around motherhood, published by Dumont in Cologne/Germany and followed by a travelling exhibition in France in the FNAC galleries. This work was re-exposed in 2017 during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the maternity hospital in Pertuis.
A two-year report on travel practices of young people with immigrant background produced as part of the Reflection Group of the Federation of Clubs and Prevention Teams of Marseille, with a sociological study by Pierre Vidal-Naquet lead to a publication in 1986 and a traveling exhibition in France: Passe le Temps - des Jeunes entre leur Cité et la Ville.

In 1985 she won the Phénix prize for sociophotography at the International Meetings of Photography in Arles with Histoires de rue, a work on a working class district of the mining town of Gardanne accompanied by an exhibition at the Espace Sainte Luce.

          At the end of the 1980s, she started to explore the interaction of man and landscape, working on the notion of the injury of places, considering landscape as the mirror of human activity and her photographic work as an indispensable memory of today's world.  She questioned the use of colour and began to color her black and white prints with albumen.

The Reconnaissances series, a memorial exploration of the city of Chaumont commissioned by Vincent Cordebard, was exhibited at the Réattu museum in 1992 during the International Meetings of Photography in Arles and then for the first time at the Le Réverbère Gallery in Lyon.
Directly concerned by the great fire that ravaged the Sainte-Victoire mountain in 1989, she undertook a long work on this iconic site painted by Cézanne. Sainte-Victoire was published in 1999 by Images en Manœuvres Éditions in Marseille and exhibited in 1994 at the Réverbère Gallery, at the Triangle in Rennes, at Athanor Gallery in Marseille, at the Passerelle à Gap and in 2000 at the Château Museum of Annecy.
In 1992-1993 the Vois-là series was born following the discovery of a photographic leaflet produced in 1916 in the trenches south of Verdun.
In Indélébile (1996), commissioned by the city of Marseille, she explored the immense construction site of the future commercial zone of the Grand Littoral. Another project, the future Grimaldi Forum, was approached in En fer in 1998/1999 when it was commissioned by the Principality of Monaco.
She created the scenography for two major solo exhibitions bringing together several important series: L’Écorce du Temps at the Museum of Art in Toulon in 2001, accompanied by a catalogue with a text by Bernadette Clot-Goudard, and Le Temps inscrit at the Revermont Museum in Cuisiat in 2003.

          At the end of 1999, at the turn of the millennium, at the same time as the creation of Espace de culture on the greenhouses of culture in the Var department, set at the intersection of color, black and white, painting and literature, Beatrix von Conta started the Tel Quel series, exhibited at the Salon Paris Photo -  the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium -  in 2002, 2003 and 2004. With this work, which she continues to pursue and which constitutes a "collection" of images of landscape encounters, she abandons painted prints for the market's colour films. This photographic pool contains tracks that she explores over the years in many series: the problem of water, vegetation in urban space, threatened environment, cemeteries.

          In 2000, Beatrix von Conta, André Forestier and Lionel Fourneaux composed at the invitation of the Albédo association, a photographic work in memory of the former internment and deportation camp of Les Milles near Aix-en-Provence. Her work  A vous, strict maximum was presented to the FIAC -  international contemporary art fair in Paris -  in 2001 and as part of L'Eté photographique de Lectoure in 2003.
In 2004, the questioning  of the notion of the  "cliché", a new adventure with Albédo, led to the creation of Miroirs aux alouettes, the first of three series that introduced the use of mirrors as a means of unexpected extension of space, but also of fragmentation. This series, shown at the Salon Paris Photo in Paris in 2007, evoked the encounter with the "clichés" returned by the postcards. In each of the three different experiences a "mirror crossing" takes place in an augmented landscape. Surfaces de contact, realized in a residency (program Ecritures de lumière) in the professional high school Clément Ader of Samatan in 2009, raises the issue of migration, and was shown in 2010 as part of Cheminement (Center of Art and Photography of Lectoure).

          Dérive des Rives is part of a series of photographic projects in which water is the guiding principle.
This series which resulted  from a traveling photographic residency on the Rhône, undertaken in 2012 as part of the Regional Operational Competitiveness Program Rhône-Alpes, was taken from a barge travelling down the Rhône in order to capture the developments of the banks of the river. It was shown in 2013 in Resonance with the Lyon Biennale, at the Réverbère Gallery and in 2016 at the China Pingyao International Photography Festival.
In Aqua and Au bord des eaux mêlées, 2010 - 2012, created during two residencies at lux-Scène National de Valence and exhibited at lux, the Réverbère Gallery in Lyon and the Theater Gallery in Privas in March 2013, she explores  the aquatic element in the Drôme department, and the confluence spaces between Ardèche rivers and the Rhône.
Flux, 2012, which is part of France(s), Territoire liquide, a collective project involving 43 photographers with the aim of jointly pursue a photographic research on the new French landscape, questions the notion of crossing and transport from bridges over  waterways. Flux was published in France(s), Territoire liquide at Seuil editions in 2014, shown at Tri Postal in Lille the same year, at the Réverbère Gallery  in 2015, in 2017 at the BnF, Bibliothèque nationale de France/Paris, as part of the huge exhibition Paysages français, une aventure photographique, 1984-2017, and was presented in 2019 at the Photaumnales de Beauvais.
In L'Eau Barrée, she continued to explore the universe of dams in France and their impact on the landscape, begun 15 years ago. In 2011, these images received an Individual Creation Grant/DRAC Rhône-Alpes, were included in the shortlist for the Schneider Foundation's "Contemporary Talents - Gold Talents" prize and were exhibited in 2014 at the Le Réverbère Gallery in Lyon.
In commissions, residencies or personal subjects concerning landscapes and cities, accompanied by multiple exhibitions, she points out without judgment, in a distant frontality, the image of a society which is accelerating without regard for the environment.
In 2007, invited in residency by Diaphane-Pôle photographique de Picardie, she created coupures/reprises  that question the notion of border, real or imaginary, and was exhibited at the Photaumnales in September 2007 with a book by Créaphis editions and a text by Jean- Pierre Nouhaud.
Following a commission from the Vanoise National Park, she set up the prospective section of the Vanoise Landscape Photographic Observatory from 2006 to 2008, and created the first French high altitude photographic observatory. This work  was exhibited at the Réverbère Gallery, in Salon Paris Photo in 2008, at Espace Malraux in Chambéry in 2009. Jean-Paul Crespi, TV8 Montblanc, is directing a 52' documentary on his work in Vanoise:  Mountain Landscapes: Beatrix von Conta. During a mission entrusted to her by the city of Lyon  in 2010, she created Les infiltrés, a project on the presence of plants in urban areas.
Invited to participate in Destinations Europe organized by Diaphane-Pôle photographique de Picardie, she approached in Timisoara, between gray and green a Romanian city between decrepitude and modernity. These photographs were shown as part of the OFF during the International Meetings of Photography in Arles, at the Réverbère Gallery in Lyon, and during the International Meetings of Photography in Gaspésie / Quebec in 2011.
A major exhibition at the Réverbère Gallery  in Lyon in 2008 was followed in 2009 by Contrées familières: 15 ans de paysages, a retrospective organized by the CAUE de l'Ardèche at Sainte Marie chapel in Annonay.
In 2012, under the title Le Goût de la Nature, she installed multiple fragments of her work at the Espace Croix Baragnon in Toulouse, and at Espace Malraux in Chambéry the exposition Traversées paysagères retraces ten years of photographs.

Invited to the International Meetings of Photography in Gaspésie / Quebec with her work on Timisoara, she began a residency that continued in 2012. The Le Grand écart that illuminates a changing territory, was exposed in Paspébiac in Gaspésie in 2013, at the Réverbère Gallery in 2014.
On a crush for the city of Le Havre, she realized between 2015 and 2017 the Franciscopolis project which broadened the view on this city beyond the center rebuilt by Auguste Perret after the war. It was shown in 2017 in the exhibition De la marche à la démarche at the Réverbère Gallery, Lyon.
Two residencies in 2016 explore very different territories: Le Vaisseau fantôme comes from a photographic residency at the Hospital Center Métropole Savoie in Chambéry and is a dive into an abandoned building of 12000m2 dedicated to destruction.
A one-month photographic residency in Hong Kong initiated by the Alliance Française, the Hong Kong International Photo Festival and Diaphane - Photographic Pole of Picardy  led to Kong, beyond the clichés. An exploration of the New Territories far from the Hong Kong mirage,  was shown at the Photaumnales de Beauvais in 2017 and Paris Photo in 2018.

From 2016 to 2019, she explored her home town in Germany, Kaiserslautern, in the project Aux sources/Back home. The work was shown in 2019 at the city's Theodor-Zink-Museum and in 2018 at the Réverbère gallery as part of the exhibition Honneur aux éditeurs!

       Au pied des murs, title of a project in the making, will bring her in May 2019 on the Aran Islands in the west of Ireland to discover a territory with thousands of low walls, as long as the great Chinese wall. A mesh that speaks of history, politics, terrible famine with constructions that were not designed as separating elements, but as mesures to keep and create arable land in the face of strong winds. Walls that connect rather than separate.

At the end of 2018, the Loco Editions, Paris, published an important monograph devoted to 20 years of her  work on landscape: Glissement de terrain.

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