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Canon Ambassador Paolo Pellegrin’s retrospective ‘Dies Irae’ to open in Paris

Canon Ambassador Paolo Pellegrin’s retrospective ‘Dies Irae’ to open in Paris

© Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

March 2012

Canon Ambassador and Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin’s retrospective exhibition ‘Dies Irae’ is to open at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris on 4 April.

‘Dies Irae’, meaning ‘day of anger’ in Latin, is the first great retrospective dedicated to Pellegrin’s work and gathers together many of his stories and reportages, and is accompanied by a book of the same name (published by Contrasto). The exhibition is produced by the Forma Foundation for Photography in Milan, where it was presented for the first time a year ago. The show’s curator, Contrasto’s Alessandra Mauro, said that the Paris presentation includes new pictures and new stories by Pellegrin, such as those from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, and from Egypt.


Cover of Paolo Pellegrin’s book, ‘Dies Irae’, published by Contrasto. Image by Paolo Pellegrin.

“There are photographs that take on a life of their own in the pages of a magazine, or framed and hung on a white wall, or hanging around on the internet,” said Paolo Pellegrin. “They have their own life, they convey their own intentions, the questions that first animated them have set a new life in motion. They are fragments of a conversation, endowed with a voice and an energy that doesn’t expire instantly, but gets stronger and more defined, along with other voices, in the course of conversation with the viewer. Indeed, it’s like when you plant a seed that grows in the viewer, and the viewer completes it.”

Pellegrin added: “In my work, I present questions and concerns. This is the active, dynamic kind of photography that transforms in the eyes of the viewer. The opportunity to put a system of antibodies into circulation, without any pretence of making the world a better place, but to start a conversation with the world.”

The exhibition will be open at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie until 17 June.