at the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation 

from September 29 to December 24, 2022
at 18 rue de la Calade - Arles

Ascendance brings together fifteen artists offering singular perspectives on the notion of human rights. Francesca Todde explores the possibilities of empathy between different species, going beyond a self-centred human vision, but rather towards an impulse to understand our sensitivity. This photographic research therefore aims to understand how the exchange and sharing of expressive codes between humans and animals can transform the intensity of their relationship and thus renew their mutual identity.
In collaboration with the Act on your future Foundation, 13 emerging artists were selected as finalists or winners of the Human Rights Photography Award. Human rights are the inalienable rights of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or other status. They include the right to life and liberty. However, the boundaries of these distinctions are often blurred and gender equality is not yet an established social norm. Notions of identity are constantly being questioned and revalued. Laurence Rasti captures this fragility of existence in Denizli, a city in Turkey, where hundreds of gay and lesbian Iranian refugees are transiting; a migration, a promise towards the free experience of their sexual orientations and loves. Pierre-Kastriot Jashari portrays young gay Albanians playing with the ambivalence between the need to assert themselves and the obligation to hide. Images of migrants and refugees fleeing their country in search of a better life are everywhere. But it is interesting to follow this migration because the path to adaptation is fragile and tumultuous. Margot Lançon and Chloé Simonin attempt to capture the profound transformation that takes place in a young Eritrean woman, Yerusalem, who arrived three years ago to seek political asylum in Switzerland, immersed in a society that is the antithesis of her own. A situation of migration that is often invisible in public discourse, which actively participates in the dynamics of socio-spatial segregation. Florent Meng Lechevallier questions this reign of the visible in the states of Sonora in Mexico, the border of Arizona in the U.S.A., through the struggle of those who come to the aid of migrants and who record the disappearances. This fragility of the world, of our society, is also embodied in the notion of human rights in times of ecological crises. The fragility of a territory in danger that is constrained by oppressive and repressive regimes, in Burma, almost two years after the coup, a civil war remains. Isabelle Ha Eav presents a book of 14 Burmese and Rohingya poets and 6 photographers, all of whom have been exiled, imprisoned or murdered by the military since the coup in February 2021. Isabelle also travels down the Irrawaddy River, one of the last free rivers in Asia, which is now critically endangered. Joanne Joho and Thomas Yaël Lopez reverse this aesthetic by creating a counterpoint project where human beings do not question themselves and always want more. Thus they have created All inclusive, a dystopian travel agency offering extraterrestrial destinations to citizens of an extinct planet. A meditative look at a delicate world. Younès Klouche proposes a video essay filmed on a glacial lake in Switzerland at sunset. The image is of origin, a construction of strength and power, Leslie Moquin is interested in the visual identities of monumental sound systems, the Picós that roar in the working class neighbourhoods of the Colombian Caribbean region. Societal markers can also be individual, linked to our identity. Guillaume Delleuse looks at the tensions of the body, more broadly at the way the body is marked, by suffering or ecstasy, by lifestyle, by clothing, by tattooing or simply by the friction of time. The artists position themselves between a societal and media critique, Zoé Aubry problematizes our modes of visualisation and transformation of perception formats, questioning the uses and gestures relating to the erased names of victims of systemic and structural murders. Questioning our responsibility, yet our daily lives are saturated with information, far beyond our biological capacity to process it. It is in this context that the phenomenon of post-truth is born. Facts, even the most unquestionable ones, are being questioned while fake news invades the media space. This is why Dorian Sari shows us the attention we must pay, our attention to question.
Ascendance characterises this crossing of generations that generates and perpetuates traditions while seeking to move forward, expressing a desire of beneficial change of society on human rights, acceptance of others; but this refers to the social behaviour characterised by the tendency to dominate others, which plays the ambivalence of our current society. Ascendancy, plurality of a double-edged utopian character, rising like a star on the horizon.

Curator    Florent BASILETTI
Partners    Fondation Act on your future, Atelier SHL, Boutographies, Théâtre du Centaure

Blood Orange
Naranja de Sangre


It all starts with a mental image: an orange that bleeds. Infected with the aesthetics of Japanese counterculture and Aztec rituals of human sacrifice as a form of poetics, Liza Ambrossio mixes performance, spatial intervention, video, installation, techniques of psychological manipulation, science fiction, eroguru, and witchcraft.

curators        Florent BASILETTI, Klaus KEHRER
partners        Kehrer Verlag, ChromaLuxe

The Savage, the Fool and the Bear & The Mamuthones


Savages, Fools and Bears are represented in traditional myths and ancestral rites around the world in the form of anthropological masks that are at times very similar to each other. The masks are creatures from a parallel universe. They live inside every human being, they are the expression of our deepest and most ancestral instincts. Beasts or Monsters who do not need to hide the Man inside them.

In Mamoiada, a pagan rite is celebrated whose origins are lost in the mists of time. At the centre of the ritual are the Mamuthones and the Issohadores: two male characters who, although dressed differently and seemingly in contrast, are in fact complementary, inseparable and indisputable. The ritual begins with the dressing up, which reaches its climax when the Mamuthones and Issohadores put on their masks.

curators        Chiara RUBERTI, Enrico STEFANELLI
partner          Photolux Festival

Spiritual Fabrics

Delphine BLAST & Bruno CATTANI

In Fleurs de l'Isthme, the photographer portrays Zapotec women, who have become icons of Mexican and indigenous femininity. The seriality of the portraits materializes this community of powerful women and their sisterhood. The clothing is placed at the centre as a marker of their identity, in a refined decorum that leaves room for the details of the materials (velvet, satin, lace, flowers) and the individuality of the models.

Vodoo is a series of photographs made in Benin and Togo in 2019 about voodoo rituals. Benin is the place where Voodoo was born. In this tradition live the rituals of the Egungun, the living ghosts of Benin, Togo, and other parts of West Africa. Each Egungun appears in the form of a robed figure, giving the impression that the deceased is making a temporary reappearance on Earth. This impression is reinforced by the voluminous costumes of the Egungun; the fabrics and patterns they use express the power of the ancestor.

curator      Agathe KALFAS
partners    Atelier SHL, Filip, Tienda Esquipula

Sous les Jupes 


It was during a trip to Japan that the idea for the Under the Skirts series emerged. In this country, all telephones are calibrated to trigger a sound or light alarm as soon as one wants to take a photo, however banal it may be, a system put in place to track down male perverts in public transport. This is the starting point for a personal reflection on this garment and the latent voyeurism that surrounds it.

curator        Florent BASILETTI


du 21 mai au 12 juin 2022
au Palazzo Duccale — Lucca, Italie

Embarquez pour un roadtrip sur le chemin de l'amour en territoire kurde.
Afin de questionner l’intersection entre lutte contre le patriarcat et lutte d’indépendance kurde Laura Lafon entame un documentaire à l’est de la Turquie sur l’amour. What is love ?

Mais Laura ne voyage pas seule. Accompagnée par un amant photographe, Martin Gallone, leur duo est source incessante de questions. Commence alors un dialogue de jeu photographique. Comment les jeunes kurdes envisagent et vivent l’amour dans un contexte très traditionnel ? Que représente le fantasme du couple libre occidental ?

Les autoportraits de leur couple inventé se mêlent aux mises en scène réalisées avec les jeunes kurdes. Lafon questionne les hommes, le sexe, l’amour, le mariage, ces paroles nous font naviguer entre amours interdites, traditions et patriarcat suffoquant.

You could even die for not being a real couple, rappelle que l’intime est politique. C’est un dialogue à la fois tragique et drôle sur les constructions sociales de l’amour et les contextes culturels de son exercice. Une autofiction qui nous entraîne dans une histoire d’amour au Kurdistan, ce pays qui se bat pour exister.

Laura Lafon (1989. Toulouse) est photographe, éditrice et directrice artistique de Gaze, la revue des regards féminins. Elle est aussi à l'initiative de Lusted Men, une collection de photographies érotiques d’hommes.
Elle aime les images, en faire, en collecter, en commander... et voit la photo comme un jeu doté d’un énorme pouvoir : représenter de nouvelles visions du monde.

Martin Gallone (1990. Provence) est photographe et réalisateur. Membre de l’artist-run space La Nombreuse à Bruxelles. Il réalise des projets à long terme dans lesquels les frontières entre travail documentaire et vie personnelle s’effacent.
Depuis 2015 avec Nicolas Catalano il documente la scène musicale bruxelloise sous le nom ‘La Straussphère’.

Commissaire d’exposition    Florent BASILETTI.
Partenaire    PhotoLux Festival.

Merci à nos équipes, à l’artiste, au commissaire et, en particulier, aux partenaires de l’exposition.


du 15 avril au 9 juin 2022
au 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

This exhibition The Dignity of Gypsies gathers photographs taken by Christine Turnauer between 2011 and 2016, initially in India – to where we can trace back the roots of the Gypsies, then in Eastern Europe, where her travels took her to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo and Montenegro. The different trades photographed create a bridge between the Indian nomads and the Gypsies of Eastern Europe. All her travels have given rise to inspiring and moving photographs.

On the second floor, this exhibition also presents a Homage to my friends Gitanos with photographs taken mostly in Arles in 2019. During her “Presence” exhibition staged as a co-production between KLV Art Project and the City of Arles’ Culture department in Saint Anne’s Chapel in 2018, the photographer Christine Turnauer forged friendships that inspired her to make a tribute to her friends Gitanos from Arles and the Camargue in this retrospective exhibition of her work on the Gypsies presented at the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation from April to June 2022.
This personal exhibition brings together almost 125 black and white photographs over the Foundation’s three floors.

Christine Turnauer’s photographs on Gypsies were previously presented for the first time in Austria at the Forum am Schillerplatz in October 2017, with the release of her photo book “The Dignity of Gypsies” published in two languages (English, German) by Hatje Cantz in Europe in 2017 and D.A.P Publishing for the United States in 2018. This book, as well as some collector’s prints, were also exclusively presented in San Francisco (2018, KLV Art Project) and Shanghai (2018, KLV Art Project).

Christine Turnauer (1946-) started her photographic career in Paris where she apprenticed to various photographers. From 1974 to 1976, she was the assistant to Frank Horvat, and then until 1979 she worked as a freelance photographer. In 1979, she emigrated to Alberta, in Western Canada, where she pursued various photographic projects, the most important one being the portraits of North-American Native Indian traditional dancers.

In 1992, a publication of her work with the title Portraits was published in Canada and in 2019, in Europe and the United States, under the title I saw more than I can tell by Hatje Cantz and D.A.P Publishing. This series of photographs was notably on show at the Weltmuseum in Vienna from May 2021 to January 2022.
Since her return to Europe in 1995, she has traveled to Japan, Romania, Ethiopia, Jerusalem, India, Greece, Turkey, and Mongolia to pursue her photographic work. In 2014, her series of black-and-white portraits from these travels and encounters was published under the title Presence by Hatje Cantz. It was exhibited in Vienna in 2014 and in Arles in 2018 (KLV Art Project and the City of Arles).

Her new photographic project concentrates on the dignity of the Gypsies, which took her to the North-West of India where the roots begin, and then through Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo. The book The Dignity of the Gypsies was published by Hatje Cantz in Europe in September 2017 and D.A.P Publishing for the United States in 2018.
In 2018, during her exhibition Presence in Arles, she was fortunate to meet some of the Gypsies of Arles. They became friends, which inspired her to make a tribute to her friends Gitanos from Arles and from the Camargue region, also on show in this exhibition.

Thanks to our team, to the artist, to the curator and, particularly to the partners of the exhibition.


Les Chants de l’Asphodèle


Asphodel Songs is a four-handed work mixing text and images, carried out by Agathe Kalfas and Mathias Benguigui on the island of Lesbos between 2016 and 2020. Navigating at the borders of documentary and fiction, this long-term work invites to a new reading of this highly mediatised territory’s contemporary issues, by bringing together traces of the past, mythology and migration’s collective memory...

curator          Lionel CHARRIER
partners        Atelier SHL, ChromaLuxe, Fujifilm France

Au bord du Réel

Jean-Christian BOURCART

Jean Christian Bourcart offers us strange, hallucinatory shapes, ghostly, improbable characters which pop out from an image generator and invade and contaminate the photographic archives of a small Breton village.
Artificial surfaces collide with areas of reality, a fantasized space where truth and falsehood come together, past and future clash and seduce each other. Superposition of layers that reveal material of the virtual and virtuality of the material...

curator        Thierry MERRÉ
partner        HASY Galerie

Sauvegarde Retrouvée 2.0

Jérôme CORTIE 

In 1977, the Villeneuve-de-la-Raho reservoir in the Pyrénées Orientales was built, flooding pre-existing cultures. Many years later, while researching the bottom of the dry lake, “chemigrams” were found.
Sauvegarde retrouvée 2.0 is an exhibition that unfolds a fictional space during an archaeological excavation of the future. The researchers no longer have any recollection of the analogic past of photography…

curator        Luce LEBART
partners      Atelier SHL, ChromaLuxe, Ecole nationale supérieure Louis Lumière

Drop Out


The film Drop Out is an anticipatory, climate-fiction tale that follows its narrator to New Zealand in search of a cure for the upcoming climate crisis. In a territory where man has recently settled, he thinks he can discover an alternative to old societies that no longer accept being dependent on their environment. As he shares the writing of his film with a group of students, general confusion spreads across the island. The health crisis of spring 2020 catches up with the writing and its catastrophic fiction is insidiously close to reality...

curator    Florent BASILETTI
partner    ChromaLuxe

Surviving Humanity


SURVIVING HUMANITY explores the future of humanity. Climate change, demography, nuclear war, migrations, pandemic. In the coming decades, according to expert opinion, we will face enormous challenges. And for the first time in history, we will be dealing with our survival. This work explores what science is doing around the world to face the future. SURVIVING HUMANITY meets those unknown men and women handling with our destiny and narrates places where a human being is organizing his resilience…

curator    Enrico STEFANELLI
partner    PHOTOLUX

from July 4th to September 26th 2021
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

Échos système        is an exhibition program focusing on the uncertain, changing living world. The artists’ various approaches immerse us in current issues involving migration (Les Chants de l’Asphodèle, Mathias Benguigui and Agathe Kalfas), memory (Sauvegarde retrouvée 2.0, Jérôme Cortie; Cuba, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz), and feminism (Les Marques, Elsa Leydier). Virtual and augmented reality (Au bord du réel, Jean-Christian Bourcart) and archives (AMC Seeds, Archives of Modern Conflicts ; Time Atlas, Niina Vatanen) shape a fresh vision and perception of the living world and the social relations resulting from it. These narratives express our fears through the imagination (D’ici, ça ne paraît pas si loin, LesAssociés)—or violence (American Mirror, Philip Montgomery). These visions explore the aspects of the individual, the solitude (Métropolis, Barbara Wolff), gender (Identité et masque, Anno Wilms), or eroticism (Behind Desire, Chaussee 36), in connection with the theme of Fotohaus, Persona. An interrelated system facing a multitude of questions today, including health (Sauver les corps, LesAssociés/ParisBerlin), ecological and political ones (Drop Out, Hoël Duret), asks questions about the future of humankind (Surviving Humanity, Alberto Giuliani).

Exhibition Curators

Marc BARBEY, Florent BASILETTI, Anne-Marie BECKMANN, Christel BOGET, Lionel CHARRIER, Klaus KEHRER, Luce LEBART, Mathilde LEROY, Timothy PRUS, Chiara RUBERTI, Enrico STEFANELLI.
Grand partners 2021
ChromaLuxe, Fotohaus

Partners 2021
AMC, Arte, Atelier SHL, Chaussee 36, Collection Regard, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Fujifilm, Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus, HASY Galerie, Institut français Berlin,Kehrer Verlag, LesAssociés, Les Filles de la Photo, ENS Louis-Lumière, ParisBerlin>fotogroup, Picto, PHOTOLUX, Stiftung Anno Wilms, Total Allemagne, WhiteWall


available at our library
Here are our exhibitions’ corresponding photobooks, write to us if you wish to reserve a signed copy.


July 7th at 5pm
Preview and launch of the exhibitions with the artists and curators

from July 4th to July 11th

During the opening week, come along for a meeting, a visit, a debate, or just a look !

Thanks to our team, our artists, our curators and, in particular,
to the Rencontres d'Arles and our partners 2021.


June 29th to September 20th, 2020
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

These are unprecedented times. We have all been impacted but our work continues. Yes we want to open our doors and our arms to invite you to the MROF summer 2020 exhibition    Pioneers.

We strive to open for you, our visitors who numbered 40,000 last year, and for the 23 artists and curators who put their hearts into this program. With our partners, especially ChromaLuxe our grand partner, we join to support those who shine a light on the challenges of our time. And moreover, we strive to open for the people and causes portrayed on our walls.

In Arles, the capital of photography, the MRO Foundation gives voice to men and women who move beyond the boundaries of their own limits, outside society’s established norms of humanity and environment.

In our 600 square meters of exhibition space, socially safe and within all established health guidelines, Pioneers will bring in the resonance of photographers, videographers, sound designers, activists and citizens committed to improving our lives and enlarging our consciousness of the world’s diversity

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE, Nicole BERTOLT, Lionel CHARRIER, Audrey HOAREAU.
Grand partner 2020    ChromaLuxe

Partners 2020    Ministère de la Culture République de Chine (Taiwan), Centre culturel de Taiwan à Paris, Hospice Général, Universal Music Francce, Cohérie Boris Vian, Fujifilm, Action Collective Temporaire Blinkl, Les lectures électrique, Atelier SHL.

July 1st to September 22nd, 2019
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

Hey! What’s going on?        Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On delivered the sublime message of universal love, perfectly expressed on the album’s cover art with an expressionless, yet serene, face standing in the rain. This is the attitude called for by the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation. Forgotten songs are reawakened from the United States, China, Ukraine, Brazil, Italy and Taiwan.

In a time of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, where populism and sectarianism have found fertile ground from which to spread new world disorganization, the program Hey! What’s Going On? rings out like a call to consciousness, to dignity and to peace, while keeping a special attention to the forgotten population of the big media’s focus.

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE, Madj, Nicolas LEVY, Laura SERANI, Ioana DE MELLO, Laura NOBLE, Enrico STEFANELLI.
Grand partner 2019    ChromaLuxe

Partners 2019    CPAFFC, Centre culturel de Taiwan à Paris, Universal Music France, Motown, Iandé, PHOTOLUX, Atelier SHL, Johein Technology Inc.

July 2nd to September 23rd, 2018
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

HOPE        explores the formal possibilities of the image as document and the document as an agent of knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues. HOPE presents photography as an experience, a sharing. It presents the work of people who have chosen to create images, sometimes in parallel with their professions, to influence their lives and environment. Photographers are not merely witnesses, but become actors, using all the means available to them: from camera to smartphone, from artist’s book to Instagram collection.
Exploring this exhibition will be a ritual, sometimes solemn, sometimes playful, always heartfelt, for awareness is inseparable from emotion and study.

Refusing to categorize the world through an established documentary esthetic, the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation shares with you the creative energy of the international documentary scene.

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE, Alain MINGAM, Cathy EDELMAN, Anette SKUGGEDAL, Enrico STEFANELLI.
Grand partner 2018    ChromaLuxe

Partners 2018    Ministère de la Culture de la République de Chine (Taiwan), Centre culturel de Taiwan à Paris, Diaphane, CASE Art Fund, Le Magasin des Jouets, LUMINA Gallery, Muscari, PHOTOLUX, Atelier SHL.

Edith PIAF
Pablo Ernesto PIOVANO

View the 2017 Press Kit 

July 3rd to September 23rd, 2017
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

THE ARLES DOC’HOUSE        is the third summer exhibition organized by our Foundation in the 17th-century-mansion Hotel Blain. We are commited to presenting the public with leading-edge documentary projects that are impacting, thoughtful and inspiring from our curatorial point of view - everconscious of puting forth powerful and eloquent stories that addresshumanity, social justice, and other issues of our times.

This year’s summer program examines documentary from serveral perspective: the life of a singer (Edith Piaf with Universal Music France), the gaze of our laureates (Enri Canaj and Ismail Ferdous, 2016 MRO Prize winners), the journey of Mafia (Tony Gentile presented by PhotoLux) or our newest partners Tënk and Fotofever’s selection.
The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, with the support of the City of Arle,s stands today as a cornerstone of humanist photography and film in Southern France ; defending documentary works in a unique and socially responsible perspective.

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE, Tanguy DAIRAINE, Cécile SCHALL, Enrico STEFANELLI.

Partners 2017    DigitaliveProduction, OFF Productions, fotofever, PHOTOLUX, Atelier SHL, Tënk, EXALUX, Structures.

Dominic NAHR
Laurence BONVIN
Pablo Ernesto PIOVANO
Hyong-Ryol BAK

View the 2016 Press Kit 

July 3rd to September 23rd, 2017
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

THE ARLES DOC’HOUSE        is the third summer exhibition organized by our Foundation in the 17th-century-mansion Hotel Blain. We are commited to presenting the public with leading-edge documentary projects that are impacting, thoughtful and inspiring from our curatorial point of view - everconscious of puting forth powerful and eloquent stories that addresshumanity, social justice, and other issues of our times.

This year’s summer program examines documentary from serveral perspective: the life of a singer (Edith Piaf with Universal Music France), the gaze of our laureates (Enri Canaj and Ismail Ferdous, 2016 MRO Prize winners), the journey of Mafia (Tony Gentile presented by PhotoLux) or our newest partners Tënk and Fotofever’s selection.
The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, with the support of the City of Arle,s stands today as a cornerstone of humanist photography and film in Southern France ; defending documentary works in a unique and socially responsible perspective.

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE, Peter PFRUNDER, Dimitri BECK, Sunghee LEE.
Grand partners 2016    ProHelvetia

Partners 2016    The Swiss Foundation of Photography, Fotostiftung Schweiz, Foundation GoEun, PHOTOLUX, Fidal, Atelier SHL.

Édouard BEAU
Laurence BONVIN
Pablo Ernesto PIOVANO

Ask for the 2015 Press Kit 

November 12th, 2015 to January 20th, 2016
at the 18 rue de la Calade — Arles

THERE, WHERE THE SOUND COMES FROM        is the title of the exhibition, taken from Edouard Beau’s video on the Islamic state in 2014. The head of the Kurds commands his men NOT to shoot, to remain still and be patient, and to listen to where the sound of gunfire is coming from. In the darkness, sounds becomes the only references... Eyes shut, ears open, mind focused, no shooting... And of course, out of nervous stress, fear and ignorance of what’s happening, there as anywhere, men retaliate, senselessly, shooting their ammunition into the dark night.

For this second exhibition in Arles, the MRO Foundation invites you to listen to the sounds of the world, thanks to the rigorous selection of photographers and video makers, one can source these sounds and their outcomes.
With Edouard Beau, we track Irak’s early 21st century History.
With Titus Simoens we listen to the mountains in China and to what young boys are taught. With Laurence Bonvin we listen intensely to displaced communities in Capetown. With Pablo Ernesto Piovano we measure the terrible human aftermath of chemical treatments on agricultural land in Argentina, the result of fatal / lethal deals between huge agri-food firms and Argentina. While Simo Aagadi’s sculptures move us, in the here and now, with traces of migrants’ bodies rocked and tossed.Photographs, films, sound and interactive performances document those infra-sounds that fly under the threshold of media scrutiny.

These artists introduce us to men and women caught up in a world not of their choosing. The purpose of these exhibitions is not to enshrine the artists but to show steps in their work, to share their thought process and concern for our world. This is a triangular discussion involving artists, the men and women shown in the images, and us.

Curators    Nicolas HAVETTE

Grand partners 2015    PHOTON Labo Photo Pro