Held at the Carrousel du Louvre through November 22 Paris Photo
, the worlds leading fair for 19th Century, modern and contemporary photography features 102 exhibitors including 89 galleries and 13 publishers. With 75% of selected participants coming from 23 countries, the 2009 edition is remarkable in terms of its geographical diversity. With 11 galleries Germany is first among the foreign participants, followed by the United States with 10 galleries, the United Kingdom (7), the Netherlands (6), Japan and Spain (5 galleries each), Italy (3), two each from South Africa, Denmark the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Tunisia, and finally one for Austria, Belgium, China, South Korea, Hungary, Portugal, Russia, Lebanon and Morocco. France is represented by 21 galleries, among which several newcomers make their debut such as La B.A.N.K, Patricia Dorfman, Dominique Fiat, Françoise Paviot and la Galerie RX.
With 31 first-time participants, the emphasis in this years selection is placed firmly on renewal and an up-and-coming generation of promising young galleries such a Motive from Amsterdam, Kuckei+Kuckei from Berlin, Nusser & Baumgart from Munich, or Pente 10 from Lisbon. They come alongside established and prestigious names such as Goodman Gallery, South Africas historic gallery founded in 1965, and Munichs Fine Old Masters, a regular at TEFAF Maastricht. In addition, Denmarks Bo Bjerggaard is back while both Robert Koch Gallery of San Francisco and Toni Tapiès of Barcelona who came for the first time.
An unprecedented exploration of the Arab and Iranian scene In 2009, Paris Photo proposes to undertake an unprecedented exploration of photographic practices in the Orient. Photography arrived in the region in the 19th Century. It has become the dominant medium in what is today a diverse and autonomous contemporary art scene that is now attracting considerable interest internationally. Catherine David, Director of Documenta X at Kassel in 1997 and the author of numerous exhibitions and publications on Arab contemporary artistic production, is presenting the major characteristics of this emerging and poorly documented scene, in three parts. First is the Central Exhibition showing a selection of rare images from the collections of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. The Statement section provides an overview of emerging talent form Tehran to Damascus, Beirut to Cairo and Tangiers to Dubai. Finally, the Project Room offers a programme of video screenings, testimony to the growing interest for the dynamics of this medium among the artists of the region.
At the same time, a number of Western galleries in the general section are presenting the work of established Arab and Iranian artists such as Abbas Kiarostami at the London gallery Purdy Hicks, Abbas on Iran at Magnum Gallery, Moroccos Yto Barrada at Polaris, Egypts Youssef Nabil at Michael Stevenson, the Palestinian Taysir Batniji at La B.A.N.K and Lebanons Fouad El Khoury at Tanit. Other galleries have chosen to show Western visions of the East, in particular some of the earliest examples of orientalist photography presented by Baudoin Lebon, Serge Plantureux and Hershkowitz. Also on show is the work of contemporary artists such as Gabriele Basilico on Beirut, Philippe Chancel on Dubai, Lars Tunbjork on Oman etc.