[BLV] 5,
End on a high note
16 02 ... 19 05 2013


The importance and eclecticism of the writer and art critic Bernard Lamarche-Vadel’s photographic collection has enabled multiple thematic or monographic presentations since it was loaned to the musée Nicéphore Niépce in 2003. The collection reflects the passions and aspirations of the collector, providing a partial vision of photography from the 19th century to the 1990s: from the poetry of the ancients to the at times hermetic character of certain conceptual creations, the Bernard Lamarche-Vadel collection includes a number of pieces that are representative of the history of photography: Nadar, Albert Stieglitz, André Kertesz, Helmut Newton, Bernard Plossu, Thomas Ruff, Bettina Rheims… Internationally known photographers rub shoulders with lesser-known artists highlighted by Lamarche-Vadel. Before the collection goes back to the family of the collector who died in 2000, one last exhibition will present a selection of its most emblematic photos. To end on a high note.

Were it possible to imagine an end to the range of experimentations carried out since 2003 with Bernard Lamarche-Vadel’s photographic collection, the point of entry has to be the title.
The collector himself had already imagined the end in 1981, with an exhibition of paintings entitled Finir en beauté (End on a high note) . The idea was to end one period on a high note before moving on to the next. It was at this point that he became a collector of photography, an avid one.
For the BLV5, Finir en beauté exhibition, there should be only one title and the show should occupy its own space, an unexpected space in the usual configuration of exhibitions at the musée Nicéphore Niépce. It should appear in the distance and work as a decoy. It should have all of the attraction of a conceptual contemporary piece without having the quality. We could have easily just stuck on a reported quote from the collector, « Je vais partir mais dans un éclat » (I’m going to leave, but with a bang), and exhibit the pieces in the strictest intimacy, sparing the work, its exhibition. But this ending is not what BLV5 is all about. It is the TITLE and the END. Because the collection is going back to the Lamarche-Vadel family.
Because it has followed its path for the past ten years at the musée Nicéphore Niépce providing the subject of conversation between pieces, digital games that enabled it to travel to Paris, Lannion, Arles and Berlin.
Let us leave the work to express itself again. Austere, sombre, funereal, carried by red and black, a gleam and misfortune. Attached to pillars-rails with two sides, we will peruse it at our will, take in the litany of well-known photographers or perhaps we will recognise landscapes, emblematic figures from the art and literature worlds.
The BLV collection deployed thus as representative pieces of the totality of 1500 photographs, is presented in groups. From Joseph Beuys to Bettina Rheims’ castrated monkey, the same disturbing constancy emanates, the state of something that no longer exists. Time has stopped. Even happiness and the little birds seem to be touched. But the door is open and we can still hear the little birds, the air is still fresh. Finally, « we are free, the sun is broken, hello darkness. » (Alexeï Kroutchonykh, 1913).

Curator : Sonia Floriant

This exhibition was put together from the collection loaned to the musée Niépce by the Succession Lamarche-Vadel and Lamarche

List of photographs:
Félix Nadar, Jean-Philippe Reverdot, Josef Sudek, Gérard Dalla Santa, Etienne Carjat, Bettina Rheims, Umbo, Sophie Calle, Man Ray, Denise Collomb, Thomas Ruff, Bill Brandt, Brassaï, Philippe Bonan, Jérôme Schlomoff, Heinrich Kühn, Bernard Plossu, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Weegee, Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis Baltz, Florence Chevallier, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Keiichi Tahara, Gérard Bustamante, John Coplans, Patrick Faigenbaum, Hamish Fulton, Lynne Cohen, Watkins.

This exhibition closes a cycle dedicated to Bernard Lamarche-Vadel’s collection by the musée Nicéphore Niépce
2003 (Chalon), 2004 (Berlin/SITEM), 2006 (Arles/Festival photo) Corpus, installation numérique restituant les 1500 photographies de la collection
2003 blv1, Hommage à BLV, premier opus.
2004 blv2 Jean Rault (Unes)-Jean-Philippe Reverdot (L’Epreuve)
2008 blv3 Sélection dans la collection de livres photographiques de BLV
2009 Dans l’œil du critique, Bernard Lamarche-Vadel et les artistes ,  Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2009.
2010 et 2011 blv4 (Imagerie de Lannion et Chalon) Conversations entre œuvres

Reading material
Inclinations, la collection selon Bernard Lamarche-Vadel
Texts : Isabelle Tessier, Danielle Robert-Guédon, François Cheval, Sonia Floriant, Michèle Chomette, Gaëtane Lamarche-Vadel
Filigranes Editions
ISBN : 978-2-35046-199-1
25 €