Discover the new Season of exhibitions around Thomas Mailaender’s Carte Blanche

This summer, French multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender is taking over the two floors of the MEP’s Galleries for a Carte Blanche that aims to push the boundaries of photographic experimentation by exploring a wide variety of media. This exhibition is the artist’s first major retrospective in Paris.

Featured image : from the series « Les Belles Images », 2010 © Thomas Mailaender
From the series « Extrem Tourism », 2011
© Thomas Mailaender

From 12 June to 29 September 2024

Thomas Mailaender — Les Belles Images

Based in Marseille, Mailaender undertakes a wide range of obsessive and passionate visual research through the use of different photographic source material and techniques, deploying highly unusual materials and installations in an institutional context. Situated at the intersection of several disciplines, Mailaender’s artistic practice questions the role and primary function of the image through a diverse multidisciplinary approach to photography, and its associated archival tendencies.

This Carte Blanche will feel a little like an experimental photographic laboratory, the diversity of the visual proposals questioning our relationships with images and the daily consequences of their circulation and consumption. Led by the artist’s interventions, the exhibition will put the legitimacy of creative processes at the centre of its concerns and by moving away from the traditional frameworks of visual display, Les Belles Images represents a major innovative approach for the MEP as a photography museum.

The exhibition will bring together a vast array of pieces with work specially designed for the show, such as “Fail Anthology”, “Extreme Retouch” and the “Chemical Room”, for example, which will be covered with photographs exposed directly onto the walls. Spread over the two floors of the MEP, the exhibition will include “Les Belles Images”, the eponymous series in which the artist redeploys press agency photographs with ceramic frames, as well as his major series “Extreme Tourism”, “Gone Fishing”, and “Illustrated People”. Finally, the “Life and Adventures of a Silver Woman on Planet earth” revisits the life and commitment of Rosemary Jacobs, an American activist who was a victim of the ravages of silver nitrate, using photography to document her story and denounce the use of this compound for medical purposes.

From the series « Extrem Tourism », 2011
© Thomas Mailaender

At the Studio

Les enfants du palais sous la mer, le gant, 2024 © Anne-Lise Seusse

From 06.12.2024 to 07.14.2024

Anne-Lise Seusse — Les enfants du palais sous la mer (Children of the Palace Under the Sea)

Conceived based on an invitation by the sociologist and lecturer-researcher Amélie Nicoles, this exhibition focuses on two issues linked to the Vendée region: the fate of former holiday camps along the coast and the threat posed by global warming and rising sea levels. Anne-Lise Seusse focuses on one of these colonies, abandoned in 2018, and connects several stories. From the memory of the buildings to the past cult of outdoor leisure activities and the wild reappropriation of the site by illicit night-time activities, “Les enfants du palais sous la mer” thus evokes a dystopian world in which human civilisation ends up irretrievably submerged underwater.