Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016 review – twin towers and sub-Saharan slums

The Guardian, online, July 12, 2016

The Arles photography festival has been in transition for several years, looking forward to the medium’s exciting but uncertain post-digital future while also looking back at its past. This year, there are homages to veterans such as Don McCullin, Sid Grossman and Peter Mitchell, but much more work that questions the very idea of old-fashioned observation.


One of the themes of this year’s festival is street photography, then and now. Irish photographer Eamonn Doyle creates a buzz with an installation that uses sound, drawing and design to emphasise the looming presence of his powerfully up-close and intimate photographs of Dublin people going about their daily business. Here, with every wall filled with images, some toweringly big, some gathered in grids, it is as if Doyle and his collaborators have created their own Dublin of the imagination – one the viewer has to negotiate from various different and often surprising perspectives, as if visiting a strange city for the first time.