BMW renews its partnership with the Rencontres d’Arles (an annual summer photography festival founded in 1970 by the Arles photographer Lucien Clergue), the world’s leading festival of photography, for the sixth consecutive year. At the festival, BMW gives young artists the chance to display their works from the BMW Residency in cooperation with Musée Nicéphore Niépce. Alongside the exhibition by 2014 resident Natasha Caruana, the new resident Alinka Echeverria was presented to the public for the first time.
Initiated in 2011, the BMW Residency arose from a mutual desire, shared by the museum and the brand, to develop contemporary photographic practices, and from ‘the shared desire to be led to new spaces for creative production’, as François Cheval, head curator of the Musée Nicéphore Niépce, says. Serge Naudin, chairman of the executive board of BMW Group France, underlines the synergies between the work of photographers and cardesigners: “It is with the same freedom of creativity, the same attention and sense of detail that our designers and engineers conceive our cars, inventing each day the technological innovations of tomorrow. The rational research and technological requirements are channeled and combined with artistic emotion. It is this synergy which makes this photography partnership a natural fit for BMW France“
Natasha Caruana, winner of the 2014 BMW Residency, is a photographic artist living and working in London. A Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK, her work has been collected and shown internationally and has been included in numerous contemporary photographic catalogues. The work shown at Arles titled “Coup de Foudre/ At First Sight” is inspired by Natasha’s own love at first sight experience when she first met her husband. The series attempts to understand the passion of love combining the theatricality of the moment love at first sight struck, scientific commentary, meteorology and the influence of Mother Nature upon the landscape. The exhibition brings together these multiple strands of research and builds a conversation between the science of “Coup de Foudre” (love at first sight) and people’s own experiences.
During the opening event in the presence of the Presidents of BMW Group France and Europe on past Wednesday, July 8th 2015, the winner of the 2015 BMW Residency was also announced. Alinka Echeverria was chosen after examining 105 applications, by a selection committee chaired by BMW and made up of leading figures from the world of photography.
Alinka Echeverria is a Mexican artist, born in 1981. In 2012 she was named “International photographer of the year” by the Lucie award, and received the Prix HSBC for photography in 2011. For the BMW Residency, she proposes to investigate how ‘seeing’ through photographic inventions such as the microscope, aerial, satellite, radiographic and 3D have made us understand ourselves better –physiologically/ scientifically/ philosophically – as an ever evolving visual species. As previous residents, Alinka Echeverria will receive from BMW Group France a grant of Rs. 4.15 lakhs, payment of her accommodation expenses during her three months residency at the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in autumn 2015 in Chalon-sur-Saône and the chance to stage exhibitions at the Rencontres d’Arles festival and the Paris Photo fair.
All residents get a publication produced by éditions Trocadéro for the BMW Art & Culture collection. The current book “Coup de Foudre / At first sight” is available at Rencontres d’Arles.