The collective exhibition Love Songs proposes a completely new vision of the history of photography through the prism of intimate relationships between lovers.

Because of the themes presented in the exhibition, some photographs displayed in Love Songs can hurt the sensibilities of the visitors, especially the youngest.

  • Nobuyoshi Araki
    De la série « Voyage sentimental », 1971
    Tirage gélatino-argentique
    Collection MEP, Paris. Don de la société Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. - © Nobuyoshi Araki, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

  • Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in bed, New York City, 1986
    De la série « The Ballad of Sexual Dependency »
    Collection MEP, Paris - © Nan Goldin, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery

  • Lin Zhipeng (aka N°223), Lumière verte, 2010
    Tirage jet d’encre pigmentaire
    © N°223, courtesy in)(between gallery

  • René Groebli
    De la série « L’oeil de l’amour », 1952
    Tirage gélatino-argentique
    © René Groebli, courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

  • RongRong&inri, 23rd November 2000, De la série « Personal letters », 2000
    © RongRong&inri

“For me it is not a detachment to take a picture. It’s a way of touching somebody—it’s a caress, I think that you can actually give people access to their own soul.”

–  Nan Goldin

The exhibition

Bringing together 14 series by some of the most important photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries, the exhibition comprises both masterpieces from the MEP collection, and loaned works by important contemporary artists, many of which are exhibited for the first time in Europe. It shows both the importance of this subject to artists working now, as well as its rich history.

At the core of the exhibition, Nobuyoshi Araki and Nan Goldin’s ensembles are the starting point of this new vision of photography. The work of these two photographers is compared with series by other great names, such as René Groebli, Emmet Gowin, Larry Clark, Sally Mann, Leigh Ledare, Hervé Guibert or Alix Cléo Roubaud, as well as from contemporary artists as JH Engström & Margot Wallard, RongRong&inri, Lin Zhipeng (aka No 223), Hideka Tonomura or Collier Schorr.

Taking inspiration from Goldin’s ‘Ballad…’ Love Songs is conceived and organised like a musical compilation offered to a lover, with Side A, the first half of the show, made up of series from 1950-1980/90 and Side B, the second half, 1980/90 to now…

Taking us through many different stories and scenarios photographed between different couples, from the first days of an affair, through marriages, honeymoons, domestic bliss and the pain of separation, even to the last days shared between loves, the intimacies shared on film are revealed in all their poetry and honesty.

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