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Lucien Clergue, Unto Death, Unto Life

  • France
  • 2008
  • fr
  • English
  • 53'

It's a beautiful story: Lucien Clergue, lover of Arles, photography and light. We see him here simply talking about his life, happily photographing his city or his models (naked in the waves). This friend to Cocteau and Picasso was also the founder of the Rencontres d’Arles, and left us in 2014. Here, we see him entering the Académie des Beaux-Arts, a consecration for both himself and photography, for which he was the first representative. This fine portrait brings this "immortal" back to life.

Lucien Clergue, Unto Death, Unto Life
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Synopsis

It's a beautiful story: Lucien Clergue, lover of Arles, photography and light. We see him here simply talking about his life, happily photographing his city or his models (naked in the waves). This friend to Cocteau and Picasso was also the founder of the Rencontres d’Arles, and left us in 2014. Here, we see him entering the Académie des Beaux-Arts, a consecration for both himself and photography, for which he was the first representative. This fine portrait brings this "immortal" back to life.

What you will find in this film

Lucien Clergue photographing nudes • The photographer at home in Arles • The great artists who supported him • Cocteau and Picasso on his work • His personal story • His investiture in the Académie des Beaux-Arts • His first series • His closeness to the Gypsy world • The importance of music in his life • The history of his photographic work • What drove him to create the Rencontres d’Arles and bring photography to the museum

My ambition: to be a poet.

Film chapters

summary00:00 Being a poet

summary07:28 Becoming an Academician

summary20:26 Gypsies, freedom

summary25:29 Meeting Picasso

summary35:41 First deaths, first nudes

summary43:25 Photography, an art like the rest

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Further exploration

• NUDE WORKSHOP - artist: Lucien Clergue ; 1982 ; Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd

• LUCIEN CLERGUE/ EROS AND THANATOS - 1985 ; Little, Brown and Company

• JEAN COCTEAU AND THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS/ THE PHOTOGRAPHS - artist: Lucien Clergue ; 2002 ; Viking Press Inc

• LUCIEN CLERGUE: FIFTY YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: VINTAGE AND RECENT WORKS - authors: Karen Sinsheimer ; 2005 ; Louis Stern Fine Arts

• LUCIEN CLERGUE, LES PREMIERS ALBUMS - directed by François Hébel and Christian Lacroix ; 2015 ; exhibition catalogue at the Grand Palais ; Réunion des musées nationaux edition ; in French