Interview with Sophie Ristelhueber.
Why does one become an artist? How? To what extent is one an artist?
Guided by direct questions from Catherine Grenier, Sophie Ristelhueber
describes the atypical advance of an artist for whom nothing
predetermined this late, but accomplished, destiny. With no concessions
even to herself, and without pretence to something else, the artist
evokes the stages of passion which imposed itself suddenly, like an
interior necessity. A passion that took her to war-torn lands, into their
conflicts and wounds, in search of the traces of war and its scars. Lucid
and sincere, this artist's confession constitutes a perfect introduction
to contemporary art, its finalities and what is at stake. She is witness to
an aesthetic quest which, overturning the normal course of life, pushes
the creator to venture further and further from themselves.
New expanded edition of the book published in 2010 (ISBN 978-2-84066-388-1).
(born 1949 in Paris) is one of the great figures of art photography
today. Since her foundational work on the city of Beirut
destroyed in the war
at the beginning of the 1980s, she has followed a
demanding path that tests the conditions in which the real is seen. She
has developed an engaged reflection on territory and its history through
a singular approach to landscape
, which is conceived as a space that
carries the traces of the major upheavals of human activity and memory
(historical wars, recent conflicts, civil wars, earthquakes), questioning,
like an archeologist, the marks left by man on the surface, leaving the
stigmata of history visible. Implying a complete personal engagement
and a real experience of the land, Ristelhueber's work borrows from
journalism its tools (photography) and one of its major themes (war), but
bends them to the processes of art: her oeuvre is not built around a
project to represent, but, starting from an aesthetic
project, to interrogate the notion of trace, on the body and on the
Sophie Ristelhueber was awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010.
See also Sophie Ristelhueber
Adjunct Director of the Musée national d'art
moderne, Centre Pompidou, until 2014, Catherine Grenier is the Director of the Giacometti Foundation. An art historian, she is the author of
numerous publications and texts about contemporary art.