Provence Travel

Rencontres Arles

August 3, 2016

The 47th Annual Rencontres d’Arles is underway and what better excuse to visit this beautiful and historically-rich Provence city than now. The Rencontres Festival plays an active role in revealing trends, talents and supporting artists through dozens of galleries set up in its historic Roman buildings and museums each year.

johnny hallyday rencontres arles

Copyright: (Right) Charles Fréger and Claude Schwartz (1963)

Discover street photography and Western classics featuring French cult figure, Johnny Hallyday, bounding about in the Camargue, along with visual themes tackling today’s difficult social and political issues as: dictatorships, abortion and misogyny and difficult lives of transvestites… to the collision of African and European cultures. There is something for everyone to appreciate this year. I particularly enjoy that the city’s classic Roman architecture and history as a backdrop to a curation of modern images supporting a variety of visual storytelling styles, along with side streets and smaller galleries that are brimming with “off” image photographers tacked about.

Arles of course, has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus, date back to the 1st century B.C. During the 4th century Arles experienced a second golden age, as attested by the baths of Constantine and the necropolis of Alyscamps. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Arles once again became one of the most attractive cities in the Mediterranean. The Saint-Trophime (shown above), with its cloister, is one of Provence’s major Romanesque monuments and has recently been restored and serves as one of the venues.

As part of the celebration, the local museums offer free admission or discounted rates with your festival ticket or pass, which makes Arles an ideal weekend destination as there is much to see. Be sure to visit the Musée Réattu to appreciate Katerina Jebb’s creative world of sensual textiles, materials and color together in a glorious symphony that pose interesting questions on the definition of beauty. Jebb worked closely with Arles famous couturier, Christian Lacroix, whose creative vision is behind the museum’s exhibition space.


“In her work, she explores the singular aesthetic of a visual quest in which textiles and bodies mingle, composing mysterious floating idols wearing Christian Lacroix dresses. In Katerina Jebb’s work, the idea of three dimensional reproduction gives way to a hyperrealism of material and flesh.” – Source Musée Réattu

visit arles

Enjoy the historic beauty of Arles this summer and be sure to follow us on Instagram for more street shots, dreamy images and beauty of Provence each season.

Blog author and Arles photographs: by Tarik Koivisto

More info:

The Les Rencontres d’Arles Exposition de la Photographe
July 4th – September 25, 2016
Online Tickets


Every day from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm (last entrance at 7:00 pm), except for the following venues:

Cloître Saint-Trophime open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entrance at 6 :30 pm).
Musée Départemental Arles Antique open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last entrance at 5:30 pm) – collection closed on Tuesdays.
Galerie Arena open 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm (last entrance at 6:30 pm).
Musée Réattu open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last entrance at 5:30 pm) – Closed on Mondays.
Chapelle Saint-Martin du Méjan open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entrance at 6:30 pm).

Exhibitions closed from Sunday, August 28th:
Camarguais Western
Bernard Plossu
Charles Fréger
João Pina
Don McCullin
Alinka Echeverría
Olympus engages in a photographic conversation

Exhibitions closed from Sunday, September 11th:
Stéphanie Solinas, “The Method of Loci”
Yan Morvan
Nothing but Blue Skies
Lady Liberty


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  • Reply Tara Abernethy August 3, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    You really inspire me to explore Arles! It sounds amazing! I will make a stop there during my next European adventure.

    • Reply tarik koivisto August 3, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Yes, a must-visit and we’ll go next time when you are here!

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