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Art Diary

Exteriors – Annie Ernaux and Photography

23 February 2024

The Nobel Prize-winning French writer Annie Ernaux has long been regarded as a master of recording her inner life and how we experience identity and memory. Her book Exteriors (2021) looks outwards, focusing on the ‘ephemeral encounters that take place just on the periphery of a person’s lived environment’. This exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la photographie (MEP) finds parallels between Ernaux’s writing and its own collection of candid snapshots of everyday life to reflect on how we perceive and relate to other people (28 Feb–26 May). It includes photographs such as Hiro’s Shinjuku Station, Tokyo (1962) and Jean-Christophe Béchet’s Istanbul, Turquie (Turkey) (1986), which depict strangers passing by in a flash, echoing the sentiments of Exteriors and emphasising how photography and literature can complement and inform one another. Find out more at MEP’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

18 heures, Pont de Bercy, Paris (18 hours, Bridge of Bercy, Paris) (1979), Claude Dityvon. MEP Collection, Paris; © the artist

Istanbul, Turquie (Turkey) from the European WE 2015 portfolio (1986), Jean-Christophe Béchet. MEP Collection, Paris. © the artist

Nabari Mie (1977) from the Fushikaden series (1971–78), Issei Suda. MEP Collection, Paris. Courtesy Akio Nagasawa Gallery; © the artist