Since photography, art can no longer be thought of as a world apart. With it, art gives back to see the life of things and of the spirit, no longer in the form of only created images, but also of real images. With all the strength of the gaze that he secretly carries in his heart of hearts, the photographic eye has upset the codes of classical representation, as man could conceive them as a visual device frozen since the Renaissance and probably up to in the mid-nineteenth century. What Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) attempted to express by the very idea of “the optical unconscious” in his « Little History of Photography » (1931) and « The Work of Art at the time of its technical reproducibility » (1936) at the heart of the mental mechanism of vision. « In the worship of remembrance of distant or deceased loves, the cultic value of the image finds its ultimate refuge. In the fugitive expression of a human face, captured on old photographs, it will have beckoned one last time. That’s what gives it its melancholy beauty, comparable to no other ». And if some predicted the disappearance of art from the advent of photography, at least the civilization of the image can still claim upon it the power to show our contemporary age with that necessary independence which characterizes it in its most mysterious aspects as the object of his own research.

At a time when billions of images are made and send allover every day, no other medium of plastic expression has, so to speak, experienced such technological developments throughout the history of art. Whether in terms of production, broadcasting, communication, storage or sharing, the photographic image has constantly changed our view of the global environment of Space and Time. Today, it is part of every moment of our daily life or almost. And thus, in all areas, all spheres of activity possible and imaginable. Also PhotoMonaco wanted to inaugurate its first edition in an open manner to all practices and techniques of art photography, from film to digital through the historical clichés that wonderfully reveal 70 works presented here and dated from the archaic period among the most important of the Rolf Mayer Collection: The Future of the Past.

And then, it is to Nikos Aliagas that friendly return our last word or would it rather introduction if needed. Like everything that was especially at the beginning of this wonderful adventure of precious encounters, in favor of the experience of the photographic moment named after “The Time of Vision”. And since our 2018 Ambassador has chosen to put our generic theme to the eponymous test of his talent as an artist in the context of a solo show on the Mediterranean, lets have PhotoMonaco to radiates for a long time in Monaco as in his native language the magic words from ancient Greek mean the « writing of light ».


Renaud Siegmann
General Director