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Seit zwölf Jahren in Folge ist BMW key-partner der Recontres d’Arles, BMW France begleitet die Fotografie bereits seit 2003. Das ist ein Ausschnitt der fünfzig Jahre des kulturellen Engagements der Marke weltweit, die 2021 zu würdigen sind. Bei den Recontres d’Arles wird ‚The Pigment Change‘ von Almudena Romero gezeigt. Um das Werk der Künstlerin im gebotenen Rahmen zu würdigen, folgt nun der Text, den BMW herausgegeben hat: BMW Art & Culture will exhibit „The Pigment Change“ by Almudena Romero, tenth winner of the BMWResidency, at Rencontres d’Arles. BMW will showcase Almudena Romero’s personal exhibition in the Saint-Trophime Cloister from July 4 toAugust 29, 2021. „The Pigment Change“ has been jointly published by BMW Art & Culture and Les éditions de l’air, des livres.

Almudena Romero/BMW Residency

As patron of the Rencontres d’Arles association, BMW has been a key partner of the Festival for twelve years running. It also provides a fleet of vehicles to transport guests, artists and exhibition organizers.BMW Art &Culture will exhibit „The Pigment Change“ by Almudena Romero, tenth winner of the BMW Residency, atRencontres d’Arles. This year, BMW is celebrating 50 years of supporting cultural projects all over the world, in the fields of modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music, and architecture and design. As such, it contributes to the dissemination of knowledge and the arts. In France, BMW Group France has been a patron of photography since2003. „The Pigment Change“ project created during the BMW Residency. „The Pigment Change“ takes an original experimental and scientific approach towards natural photo production, whereby Romero’s research focuses on pigment changes, with an ecological and societal commitment. Her workechoes BMW Group’s vision of innovation for a more sustainable future and of production which respects theenvironment and its resources.

François Cheval, Artistic Director of the BMW Residency, commented on the winner’s work: „Almudena Romero, like many of her peers, believes that renewing the medium can follow the same path as the first photographicprocesses, while highlighting the plastic and physical characteristics of plants. Because plants are not only thesubject, they also take on a new status as vectors of visual information. They are given the new role of determining thefinal form of the work of art and specifying its meaning.“ Given the inevitable disappearance of the silver process, the photographer seeks a virtuous practice using living materials. Her main medium is natural, at the expense of chemistry, plants and her material, as well as lightspecific to plants and photosynthesis. The project is divided into four parts: Faire une photographie (take a photo), Family album, Offspring and The act of producing, which represent the artist’s viewpoint on production or the cause of existence.

Almudena Romero/BMW Residency

In „Faire une photographie„, the plants are exposed to specific amounts of light to bring about a pigment changein the leaves, in spring and in fall. In „Family album„, Almudena exposes the negatives of her family archives directly onto cress cultivation panelsto „grow“ photographic prints. In „The act of producing“ and „Offspring„, the photographer uses entire plants as photographic substrates onwhich she records her images. „The act of producing“ features various large-scale collages (1.5 x 2 m) made up of several leaves exposed to extraordinary quantities of UV light to bring about a pigment change. This pigment change, based on plants‘ survival mechanism, involves replacing the chlorophyll pigments (green) with carotenoids (yellow) to releaseexcess energy.

The artist uses the plants‘ ability to change pigments to record very detailed images of her own hands whileworking with the plants. In „Offspring„, the artist uses plants‘ selective reproduction strategies as a metaphor to express her decision notto become a mother due to the current climate and environment crisis. This part of the project includes a 30-day timelapse documenting the birth of a new leaf and a series of textelements printed directly onto the leaves of this plant. The artist was able to broaden her research thanks to the resources available at the BMW Residency at the GOBELINS School of Visual Arts. As such, she experimented with complex, fragile, expensive and large-size materials within the school environment, assisted by two students and supported by professors.

Almudena Romero/BMW Residency

Die Bilder wurden von BMW für die Veröffentlichung bereitgestellt. Copyright: ©AlmudenaRomero/BMW Residency / Titelbild: Family Identity, from the series Family Album ©AlmudenaRomero/BMW Residency Photo on a cress panel, 145 x 90 cm, 2020