Camille Moirenc, photographer : The Rhone in the camera lens”
Camille Moirenc has been travelling along the Rhone for more than 15 years. From his native Provence, he began to photograph the river, mixed with salt water in the delta of the Camargue or more corseted in Arles or in Avignon. Then, he went further north, discovering other landscapes, other uses, until its source in the glacier in Switzerland. For Living with Rivers, he agreed to make the opposite journey and tell us, through his photos, what is his Rhone…
Camille Moirenc was born in 1966 in Aix-en-Provence and remains attached to his native region, where he lives. Provence has been his playground for 30 years to capture the beauty of its landscapes: Marseille; the Mediterranean coastline, which will be the subject in 2018 of an exhibition “438, Our Coastline” in front of the MUCEM Museum (80,000 visitors) and more recently the Sainte-Victoire mountain.
But he has also taken a passion for the Rhone, which he has met on foot, by bike, by boat or even from the sky. He captures the moods of the river and follows its evolution, having become after this decade spent at its side an inescapable witness of its natural and industrial heritage, its uses and its evolution.
A witness to the diversity of the river
Water, so present in the history of Provence, is finally at the center of his artistic work. It is his inspiration and his working environment: water for agriculture as on the Canal de Provence; water for cities, in Marseille and water for dams, navigation or leisure on the Rhone.
Camille Moirenc tells us about water in all its phases and uses, with those who practice their professions or their passions with it. Camille’s work nevertheless goes beyond the narrative and the sole dimension of photo reportage ; he knows how to transform the lights of the river, its tranquility or its vigor into paintings that play on graphics and materials.
He loves to walk along this river that he deeply respects and accumulates “the miles of paths traveled, of films, of editing, of new encounters, of new looks, of technological innovations, of Giga”. In order to satisfy his boundless curiosity but also to continue to document a Rhone that is changing, under the effects of climate change and the needs of the territories and populations. For Camille Moirenc, the invitation to travel must also be a source of reflection.
His declaration of love for the river is correlated with a call for help. For him, it is a question of “showing the diversity of landscapes and territories, the richness of the river, through different shots and also what Human do with it, for good or for bad.
Books and exhibitions to raise awareness
In 2018, this meticulous encounter with the river is transcribed in a book, conceived as an alphabet primer, to reveal all its wealth: “Rhône, le fleuve” published by Actes Sud, in partnership with CNR (Companie Nationale du Rhône), which has commissioned him for 15 years to report on the river it manages and its activities.
This will be followed by the exhibition “Visages du Rhône, le fleuve-roi” presented in Paris. A prestigious premiere on the gates of the Jardin du Luxembourg, where the French Senate is located, between March and July 2021. From the Rhone glacier to the Mediterranean, Camille Moirenc invites the general public in 80 photos to follow the course of the river, over its 812 km, with many stops in Switzerland and France. Photos are accompanied by captions written by his wife, Sandrine.
This year, the exhibition is back in the Rhone Valley, with a first stop at Port-Saint-Louis in the Camargue delta and since May 20, in Lyon, at the Rhone Prefecture. Come on! It is visible until July 20.
And all year long, Camille exhibits her work in his “Gallery” in Aix-en-Provence.
15 Rue Van Loo, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Find Camille’s selection for Living with Rivers on our Instagram account: his favorite photos of the Rhone, which are also a story of encounters and testimonies of the health of this river, a colossus with feet of clay.