LIGHT.LT Lucien Clergue, RIP - Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie - forever | LIGHT.LT

Lucien Clergue, RIP – Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie – forever

10_0710-Arles-Lucien Clergue 023-W There came the news that a great photographer, open-hearted person, founder of the first photography festival, Rencontres d’Arles, Lucien Clergue, passed away on November 15 at the age of 80. Despite his numerous titles and high ranking at the French Academy of Fine Arts of the French Institute, Lucien was enjoying to meet people and welcome them at his studio. It was sometimes unbelievable to get his replies by email or SMS as answers to the news regarding my work of KAUNAS PHOTO festival. In 2012, KAUNAS PHOTO festival was given a slot of 30 minutes of time to present itself to the audience of the Rencontres d’Arles at Docteur Fanton. The night before, I called Lucien. Instead of “how are you”, he started his conversation by saying – “I am coming”. He indeed showed up at the event and announced: “I have something to say, which I never did – for the fact that I am photographer, that we have “Rencontres de la Photographie”, I must say thank you to Lithuania!” Amazing. And then he referred to the day when in 1954 he, as a guy training to play violin showed up at the photo club of Arles with several pictures. It was the day when Izis Bidermanas, Lithuanian-Jewish Holocaust survivor and then already established Parisian photographer was on visit, and told him to continue in photography. Lucien admitted it was the advice he was following throughout his life. When I asked about those first pictures, taken for Izis’ judgement, Lucien said – “no problem”, you can publish them when writing about Rencontres. I found them in my inbox when back home…

Lucien, you will be remembered for lighting up the fire of festivals of photography across the globe!When

Thanks, my “papa Arlesien”, RIP – Rest In Piece…, or, let’s say it in French – Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie – forever.

I took this picture during an ordinary brief visit to Lucien’s office to talk “what’s new” during the festival of 2010. Even if the focus chose the blur, I did not delete the photo, since it somehow resonated with Lucien’s ironical complaints about having too much to do and being too tired of it…