Prix photographie & sciences


Photography and sciences, a dialogue to engage! 

We are convinced that sciences and arts have a vocation to meet in an intimate and creative dialogue that gives us something to see, to think about and to engage with. For Pythagoras, science and mathematisation are not an end in themselves, but a way of revealing a mystery and an emotion.  It is this same emotion that photography arouses, which has become a major art form that, more than ever, questions the world around us, brings men and women together, and links our societies. Bringing “Photography & Science” together is to participate in this necessary dialogue between several actors of the same society, willing to question together the place of the Human being in his environment and his role within contemporary connected, constantly changing and interdependent societies.

“The few discussions I’ve had with artists have helped me to get a perspective on what I do. We scientists are very attached to reality. We are explorers, not really dreamers. With them, I found this part of the dream. These are the words of Sylvestre Maurice, astrophysicist, astronomer and planetologist, specialist in the exploration of the solar system and sponsor of the 2019 edition of the Résidence 1+2. It shows the touching curiosity of an internationally renowned scientist for modes of artistic expression with an unsuspected evocative force.

It is true that, at first glance, photography and science are quite different : they have neither the same object, nor the same methods and purposes. If the former summons the sensitive and the imaginary, the latter is based on reason and reality. And yet, on closer inspection, they both question the world by making the invisible visible, pushing back the frontiers of knowledge, giving us a different way of seeing. If photography tells the story of the world’s twists and turns, the sciences help us to understand them better. Since its creation at the end of 2015, the Résidence 1+2 in Toulouse has had the ambition to bring together people who, at first sight, had no chance to talk to each other.

This second “Photography & Sciences” prize, 2022 edition, aims to be fully in line with this shared dynamic around a professional photographer of the french scene (french creators or artists working and/or living in France, whatever their nationality) : to create, in a collaborative and participative spirit, the right conditions for the creation of sensitive content, with photographer and scientists sharing thoughts and resources, composing new knowledges in a sort of factory of possibilities. 

At a time when the boundaries between all disciplines are crumbling, bringing artists and scientists together in the same project is an invitation to join forces, to stimulate new cross-disciplinary approaches, to renew creative forms in order to help us, together, to better understand and act in the face of the challenges of the contemporary world.

Philippe GUIONIE

General Delegate of the Photography and Sciences Prize

Logo Prix 2022

The Résidence 1+2, the ADAGP, the CNRS, the CASDEN, STIMULTANIA and PICTO FOUNDATION are committed to supporting contemporary photographic creation by creating the Photography and Science Prize, with the media partners Fisheye and Sciences et Avenir – La Recherche. This annual prize is intended for professional photographers on the french scene (french creators or artists working and/or living in France, whatever their nationality) who are developing an authorial approach. An endowment of 7,000 euros will help the winning photographer to finalise a photographic series in progress, which combines photography and sciences. The prize money will include the prize-winning photographer’s remuneration. The winner will also benefit from a dedicated communication with media partners. The presentation of the series is the subject of a round table with screening at the ADAGP (Paris) on the 12th of september 2023 at 6.30 p.m. , then of an exhibition in a reference place dedicated to photography in France, Stimultania Photography Center in Strasbourg from the 28th of april to the 16th of september 2023.

  • Launch of the call for projects : Thursday, 7 july 2022 at 11am at the Fisheye Gallery at the Rencontres de la photographie in Arles.
  • Deadline for applications : 17 september 2022 at 7pm.
  • Jury meeting : 3 october 2022 at the ADAGP (Paris).
  • Announcement of the winner : 15 october 2022.
  • Restitutions : round table with screening at the ADAGP (Paris) on the 12th of september 2023 at 6.30 p.m. and an exhibition from the 28th of april to the 16th of september 2023 at Stimultania Photography Center in Strasbourg.

Richard Pak – L’île naufragée (Les îles du désir – Chapitre III)

Richard Pak suffers from an advanced form of “Islomania” (a term coined by Lawrence Durell) and has been carrying out artistic research on insularity for several years.

Nauru, in Oceania, has gone from the richest country to one of the poorest in the world in less than twenty years. Its story could be a literary fiction in which delusions of grandeur and greed have transformed an island paradise into an ecological, economic and social disaster. On the atoll, columns of coral – remnants of a century of phosphate mining – stand as far as the eye can see. In Shipwrecked Island, Richard Pak subjects his negatives to a chemical treatment based on phosphoric acid (H3PO4) which alters the emulsion, sparing only the red range. The aesthetic rendering takes us towards (science) fiction or mythological fable. The characters, princes and princesses, weightlifting presidents and beauty queens are carried away in a ballet of sweepers struggling to chase the phosphate dust from the surface of the island.

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