Intimacy is one of three central themes of the 2014 Paris Month of Photography. Thirty photographers who focus on intimacy are exhibited at venues throughout the city. Here is a preview, with an introduction by curator Jean-Louis Pinte.

We live in an age where images are everywhere, and where they are used for purposes for which they were not originally intended. Facebook is the main culprit and manipulates the process to its own ends. Are we all artists? No! Selfies, stolen portraits, and the constant insignificance of our banal existence makes those who make and distribute these images believe in a kind of visual and mental intimacy, whereas most of the time what they do simply reflects a desire to assert their existence through narcissism, egocentrism, or even voyeurism. This world — of screens, of social media, of popular opinion — is a dark room full of fantasy and frustration. 

Real intimacy is something different. It is first and foremost a rampart against the debasement of the self: it involves perpetuating our own mysteries and concealing our true desires. It means reining in our emotions. It means being ourselves.

Photographers are people who track down intimacy. Through the way they look at the world, people, and objects, through their desire to bear witness and pass on the things they fleetingly experience. Sometimes this intimacy escapes them, and yet it is there, unwittingly faithful to its own mystery. At other times it springs forth, at times when excessively violent or achingly gentle emotion come to the fore. Intimacy is then the prisoner of the image or reveals an impromptu encounter between two ways of seeing...

Intimacy means abandoning what we know about ourselves and offering it to others. It means stepping outside ourselves. The photographer thus tiptoes into the world of intimacy as a witness, at the very heart of what makes his way of seeing so beautiful. Marianne Rosensthiel, Richard Schroeder, Carole Bellaïche, Roberto Frankenberg, Jean-Robert Dantou, Roman Vishniac...we showcase some thirty artists who have entered the heart of this intimacy. An intimacy that reveals the love they feel for their art — and for people.

—Jean-Louis Pinte, curator 


Editor's Note: 
Mois de la Photo will officially run all across Paris through November, though many exhibitions will continue for several months. A full list of the exhibitions that fall under the theme "In the Heart of Intimacy" can be found at the festival's official website.