Discover the Center

74 rue de la Joliette, 13002 Marseille

The Centre Photographique Marseille (CPM) is dedicated to photography in all of its manifestations : exhibitions, amateur workshops, visual literacy training for young people, digital installations, video, documentary, participative works, transmedia storytelling, graphic design... This open and artistic space seeks to showcase, experiment, cross-pollinate, share, discover, educate, train, and entertain, while also accompanying the general public in their discovery of photography, supporting the professionalisation of artists, and developing new initiatives around photography.

The programme is centred on contemporary photographic works and images, and it takes into account recent changes and innovations as well as the links between photography and other artistic practices. This centre’s scope of activity is underpinned by ambitions for the photographic image that are both original and innovative ; original because they focus as much on artistic forms as on social practices ; innovative because they are based on a principle of active co-construction and attempt to foster networks and partnerships.

L’Image Traversée is the title of the new artistic and cultural project that will gradually be implemented at the CPM in 2021.

The CPM is a founding member of the Réseau Diagonal, which was created in 2009 by the director of the CPM, and is the only network in France bringing together production and distribution structures dedicated to photography.

NEXT EXHIBITION : For Whom The Bell Tolls (Go) / Camille Fallet

19 June > 25 September 2021
Vernissage on Friday 18 June at 6pm

This exhibition is co-organised by the Photo Marseille festival and the Centre Photographique Marseille, with the support of the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region and France’s CNAP national visual arts centre through its documentary photography program.

This exhibition is also part of the satellite programme of the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival within the framework of the Grand Arles Express initiative.
Camille Fallet has been named the guest of honour for the Photo Marseille 2020 festival.

If you see Glasgow from the air, it looks like it’s been bombarded. What was once the second city of the British Empire, with its major port for metalworks, shipbuilding, and railway engineering, now has the appearance of a former ruin that has been haphazardly rebuilt. For the most part, its shape reflects the Industrial Revolution and the height of the Victorian era. The city’s architecture is, more or less, a collection and appropriation of the architecture of the great civilizations. These styles embellish its businesses, its public buildings, its places of worship, and its homes. The uniformity of the red or blonde sandstone enhances the ornamental touches. Glasgow was once splendid, rich, and powerful.

The city has been collapsing for a century. After peaking at more than one million people, it has since lost almost half of its population and is now infamous for the life expectancy of residents born in the poorest East End neighbourhoods : just 54 years. After a first attempt in the late 1970s to redesign its geography with concrete and cars, the city survived only by excising entire neighbourhoods. The merchant buildings, the tenements, and the giant brutalist constructions disappeared to make room for a peripheral world of grey-plastered housing estates that were created after the tax revolts shattered the grand Glasgow of the Labour period.

The city is doing a little better today. It remains an important financial centre, and burgeoning real estate developments are swallowing old factories and industrial wastelands. The same forces of capitalism that are at work in other Western cities are re-sketching the visible face of Glasgow. But even more than elsewhere, Glasgow is the epitome of capitalism, its physical expression. If the period from the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century was ushered along by a sense of artistic modernity and a dynamic that found parallels in the emergence of photography, today the city’s development has as its sole aesthetic horizon the museumization of its last ruins.

For the most part, I have photographed Glasgow with the 4x5 camera, making sure that each place and each object I captured is a profoundly exemplary and vivid clue to the city’s spirit.

Camille Fallet

There is a fundamentally photographic nature to Glasgow, as there is to Marseille. This is not to say that the city is merely photogenic, but rather, that it carries a weight and a light that makes it fertile ground for those seeking the lyrical and the documentary.

Walking through the streets of Glasgow and Marseille, one is struck by the past and how it has been shredded by the present to create an amalgam where history is integrated into people’s daily lives in such a way that it becomes “invisible”. There are urban forms that seem to perpetually change : those of an industrial sector that is so prevalent but already so outdated, those of an outmoded but glorious urbanism, those of a scattered but insistent modernity. There is also the smell of the sea in both cities, either in the distance or near at hand, carried by an ever-present wind... There are the seagulls, like random passers-by, who seek to feed on the debris of humans, and sometimes end up crossing swords with them. And, there is a common pride in their territory (almost a terroir), a common and occasionally extreme passion for football and music, a common mistrust of the capital city.

In Glasgow, Camile Fallet has acted as a sociologist, geographer, urban poet, historian, writer, documentarian, flâneur, and photographer. Because of his interest in the varied complexities of a territory, he produces artwork with different tones, but it always bears the hallmarks of a document shaped by physical and aesthetic experience.

This exhibition’s creative concept, which has been specially designed for the Centre Photographique Marseille, brings together screens, slides, texts, archives, and more than 60 photographs that will be shown for the first time. It bears witness to an artist’s inquisitive and rigorous examination of a city, its history, its population, its movements, and its spirit.

Erick Gudimard, director of the Centre Photographique Marseille


Biographical elements of the artist :

For fifteen years, Camille Fallet has been using his art to address questions of the experience of place and its transcription into a lyric documentary. He also explores past images and their links to the personal imagination. In this associative visual memory, the notion of editing, in the dual sense of extracting and sequencing, plays an essential role. Camille Fallet regularly exhibits his work at contemporary art centres and venues. After a monographic exhibition at the Le Point du Jour art centre in Cherbourg in 2018, his work was shown at the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles 2019 and the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie at the Kunsthalle in Mannheim in 2020. His exploration of photography led him to experiment with curating, such as with the 2017 exhibition Notes sur l’asphalte – une Amérique mobile et précaire 1950-1990 at the Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier.

Camille Fallet began by documenting the landscapes of the Aveyron area where he grew up, and he is now working on a series that examines mulleins, the tall plant specimens that are found almost everywhere in the world as the wind and cars scatter their seeds. Like an investigator, Camille Fallet identifies potentially significant elements in a given environment. His artistic method also includes a search for previous images, ones that resonate within a personal imagination. In this associative visual memory, the notion of cutting, in the double sense of extracting and editing, holds an essential place. It is a method that can be traced back to the cartoons, science fiction movies, and artists’ books that shaped Camille Fallet’s early perspectives. In pursuit of this vision, he chose a common “subject”, one that is both well-defined and ever-expanding. In London, Glasgow, the Greater Paris area, or the Bordeaux urban community, he has focused on “modern” architecture, the intermediate spaces and the multiple modes of circulation that constitute urban territories. On the one hand, it is a matter of serial recording : listing typologies, treating an ensemble from different viewpoints. On the other hand, it involves an angle of approach, generally from the periphery, where unexpected details and vantage points emerge. The photographs are then edited – assembled in space, projected, laid out. These forms often evoke photographic motifs or the work of well-known artists. For Camille Fallet, this is not a postmodern attitude (there is neither a truth nor an original, only a simulacrum and a copy), but rather the possibility of exercising one’s own vision by appropriating a story and, why not, by reinventing it. Somewhere between reprise and repositioning, his work opens up a critical understanding of current urbanization and can inform initiatives to transform it.”

David Benassayag , director of Le Point du Jour art centre in Cherbourg