In the compelling Le Gendarme Sur La Colline, photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti explores her vision of France, in which old traditions persist even while they fray and shift in relation to contemporary stresses, including multiculturalism. The work presents an intuitive, often lyrical journey that is undercut with a sense of tension about what it means to be French—and to photograph the French—today. This photograph, taken in 2016 as part of a commission by Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture Foundation, introduces Ahmet, a kurdish refugee from Turkey living in the projects of north Marseille with his family. Called “Immersion,” the commission program seeks to expand artistic dialogue between France and the US, while investing in creativity, and providing a platform for an important emerging artist to create a major new body of work.

Alessandra Sanguinetti (born in New York, 1968) is a recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Hasselblad Foundation grant, Robert Gardner Fellowship, and Arles Discovery Award. Her photographs are in major collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco. Her monographs include On the Sixth Day (2005) and Sorry Welcome.


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