We are delighted to announce the winner of the Prix Voltaire de la Photographie:
Simon ARCACHE (“Going Up, Going Down – Journey into the intimacy of the Blues”).
The fruit of several visits to the southern United States, this series of classic portraits illustrates, with undeniable emotion and humanism, the relationships the photographer forged with many blues musicians, in particular the pianist Ironing Board Sam. He suffered a stroke in 2015, bringing his fifty-year musical career to an abrupt end. Like a true photographic archivist trying to slow down time, Simon ARCACHE, himself a musician, is going to document with passion what he calls “the beauty and richness of a life devoted to music“. Using silver prints that he makes himself, the photographer shows us faces, hands and simple scenes of life. With that mythical blues in the background, “Going Up, Going Down“is an intimate journey to the heart of sounds that are sometimes forgotten, and which for some remain only in the memory of a palm embracing a guitar, fingers dancing on the keys of a piano or a voice that has almost faded away. There’s a nostalgic tribute in this series, like the smile that concludes a set that made us shudder…
“These photographs are my way of giving back to these artists a little of what they have given me, by showing what can sometimes no longer be heard, by giving them a form of recognition that transcends language and borders, and by confronting the folk romanticism so often associated with the Blues with a range of social, human and political realities;
The entire Prix Voltaire de la Photographie team would like to offer its sincere congratulations to the two finalists;
Lucas FREYSSINET (“Føroyskur Ungdómur”) and Emile MOUTAUD (“Plonger”)
for the quality of their work and their positive photographic spirit; Ils verront un extrait de leur série produit et exposé lors de l’itinérance dans les monuments nationaux sélectionnés.
We would also like to thank the entire jury for the fascinating debates that led to the final decision.
The prize tour will begin in October at the Château de Bussy-Rabutin in the Côte d’Or.