Photography today is undergoing profound changes, both technically and artistically. While its use in artistic creation has long been a given for today's institutions and discourse on art, the limits of the medium are constantly evolving, giving rise to multiple hybridisations with other techniques and renewed questioning of the very nature of the photographic process. On the one hand, 'artificial intelligences' - image-producing algorithms - are challenging us to redefine photorealism. These machines invent forms, situations and characters that have nothing to do with concrete reality, but which have the appearance of a recorded image. Digital techniques have also led to the abandonment of analogue processes. While there is nothing exceptional about this development, since in every era the new has replaced the old, the acceleration of the transition to digital has paradoxically given rise to a curiosity for the forgotten processes of photography - daguerreotype, cyanotype, tintype, salted paper, gum processes, platinotype, etc. Contemporary photographic creation is thus tending to "rematerialise" the image, in other words, to make materiality an important theme in its production. Finally, and this is one of the most striking developments, photography can no longer be seen as a field that is completely autonomous from other areas of contemporary production. It is entering into dialogue with sculpture, architecture, drawing and painting with a new flexibility, so that the medium must be approached in practice and reflection with an assumed fluidity.
To respond to these three developments in contemporary photography, the 'Photo Extra-Large' Chair offers a range of practical and theoretical activities. It combines photographers' workshops, the laboratory and theoretical courses devoted to photography, as well as interventions as part of the cultural programme of the Beaux-Arts de Paris, in order to give resonance to the most up-to-date thinking on photography in the 'Extra-Large' sense.
The Chair is coordinated by a group of teachers: Dove Allouche, Christian Joschke, Valérie Jouve, Éric Poitevin and Vincent Lambert.