Sans titre (Les Façades), 2020-2023 / Sans titre (Les Personnages avec Abu Hassan), 2009


11 February - 14 April 2024

Le monde est un abri

From February 11th to April 14th, 2024

A few years after her major retrospective at the Jeu de Paume, Valérie Jouve has a new exhibition at the Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France. Comprising around 60 works and a previously unseen film, it brings together images that are emblematic of her work and new photos arranged into carefully designed ensembles that testify to her continued interest in the relationship between people and their environment.

Since the start of her career, Valérie Jouve has been bringing a unique perspective to bear on urban architecture and the human presence in cities. By combining images from different ongoing series (Les PersonnagesLes FaçadesLes PaysagesLes Arbres etc), she creates carefully designed ensembles, compositions of juxtaposed images taken in different places and at different times that together create meaning. Rather than presenting a succession of series, Le monde est un abri at the Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France from February 11 to April 14, 2024, presents a wide variety of her work. By avoiding any sort of classification, chronological or other, it is the way that the images are arranged that gives rise to new levels of meaning. For example, by juxtaposing a portrait shot in Marseille and the photo of a landscape taken during one of her regular visits to the West Bank between 2009 and 2018, Jouve was able to employ a documentary style and address certain universal questions informed by the existence of these bodies of different kinds.


The notion of shelter lies at the heart of the exhibition, encouraging visitors to consider the close ties that connect human beings and structures, whether natural or man-made. This relationship takes on a tangible form in the act of seeking refuge, something that Jouve considers to be determined today more by the financial economy than by a desire to protect living things. Her idea here is to get back in touch with the protective function of architecture, a direction that takes us back to the origin of the very first settlements, which resulted from the desire of human beings to organise their surroundings. This desire to organise went hand in hand with a fear of the adverse aspects of nature, even if the solution meant wiping out every trace of plant life from our living space. Having said that, a noteworthy feature in the work of Valérie Jouve is that nature is never far away. In the interstices, in those in-between spaces, such as wastelands, building sites and ruins, buildings return to their primordial mineral nature, revealing a materiality that favours the appearance of organic life, as illustrated by Jouve’s images of moss and lichen. Her observations of the town take place as it undergoes an enduring process of reconfiguration and renewal, a fluid time frame that resonates with the way in which the photos are presented.


The uncompromising eye that Jouve tirelessly turns on our environments and living spaces continues to inspire a totally unique body of work. The growing place occupied by the plant kingdom and the natural world in her work bears witness to her careful consideration of our ways of being and resonates as a call to think of the world as a place of refuge and hospitality.


Valérie Jouve and the Centre Photographique d'Île-de-France would like to thank Xippas Gallery (Paris, Punta del Este, Geneva).




Valérie Jouve (born Saint-Etienne, 1964) is a photographer and filmmaker who lives and works in Paris, where she teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts. She studied ethnology at the Université de Lyon and photography at the ENSP in Arles, “My work has always used a dialogue with individuals and quirky locations to challenge dominant frameworks”, she says. A tireless observer of her time, she is on a quest to find perception and a fair perspective.

A unique figure among the artists of her generation, her work has been exhibited in France and abroad since 1996 in both prestigious cultural institutions and alternative spaces. Her exhibitions are often designed as visual ensembles made up of multiple, independent images taken at different times that create meaning when brought together.

Valérie Jouve is represented by Galerie Xippas (Paris, Geneva, Punta del Este).



In Relation with the Exhibition

Du temps, une souffle, monographic exhibition at Xippas Gallery

Opening on March 2nd, 2024

108 rue Vieille-du-Temple 75003 Paris



Image : Sans titre (Les Façades), 2020-2023 / Sans titre (Les Personnages avec Abu Hassan), 2009, © Adagp, Paris, 2024


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