Exteriors — Annie Ernaux and Photography celebrates the close relationship between photography and the writing of Annie Ernaux, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2022, through texts from her book Exteriors (Journal du dehors), 1993, and photographs from the MEP collection. The exhibition is the product of a residency conducted by the curator and writer Lou Stoppard in April 2022, which focused on using the MEP collection as a catalyst for new research and for linking photography to other mediums.

  • Claude Dityvon, 18 heures, Pont de Bercy, Paris , 1979 Tirage gélatino-argentique Collection MEP, Paris. Acquis en 1979 © Claude Dityvon

  • William Klein, Finale de l’élection de Miss France, entourée de Jean-Pierre Foucault et Mme de Fontenay , 2001, de la série « PARIS + KLEIN » Tirage à développement chromogène Collection MEP, Paris. Acquis en 2002 © William Klein Estate

  • Janine Niepce, Restaurant époque 1900. Le garçon de café, 1957 Tirage gélatino-argentique Collection MEP, Paris. Acquis en 1983. © Janine Niepce / Roger Viollet

  • Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Ploshchad Vosstaniya — Uprising Square, Saint- Pétesbourg, 2005 Héliogravure plane Collection MEP, Paris. Don de l’auteur en 2020. © Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

The exhibition

Exteriors — Annie Ernaux & Photography celebrates the dynamic relationship between photography and the writing of Annie Ernaux. Winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, Annie Ernaux is known for her social and feminist commitment and her ability to explore universal themes such as memory, identity and the human condition. Her precise style and emotional analysis have made her a major figure in contemporary literature. It combines texts from Ernaux’s book Exteriors (Journal du dehors), 1993 – a record of happenings on trains, shops and streets in-and-around Cergy-Pontoise between 1985 and 1992 – with more than one hundred and fifty images from the MEP collection by major photographers such as Harry Callahan, Claude Dityvon, Dolorès Marat, Daido Moriyama, Janine Niepce, Issei Suda, Henry Wessel and Bernard Pierre Wolff, amongst others. The image selection covers the second half of 20th century and includes photographs mostly taken in France but also in England, Japan, USA and other countries.

Barbara Alper · Jean-Christophe Béchet · Gianni Berengo Gardin · Marguerite Bornhauser · Mohamed Bourouissa · Harry Callahan · Jean-Philippe Charbonnier · Claude Dityvon · Martine Franck · Luigi Ghirri · Yingguang Guo · Clarisse Hahn · Hiro · Richard Kalvar · Ihei Kimura · William Klein · Dolorès Marat · Daido Moriyama · Marie-Paule Nègre · Janine Niepce · Mika Ninagawa · Tony Ray-Jones · Ursula Schulz-Dornburg · Issei Suda · Johan Van der Keuken · Kheng-Li Wee · Henry Wessel · Garry Winogrand · Bernard Pierre Wolff

Institutional patrons



With the support of