Sam Stourdzé

© Matthieu Gafsou

“My role is not that of a critic or an art historian: my mode of expression is the exhibition.” For Sam Stourdzé, being an exhibition curator therefore goes beyond mere commentary, it provides an occasion to develop his own ideas. Thus, in recent years, through his various exhibitions, he has questioned the status of images and their modes of circulation, particularly the relationship between photography and cinema.

His exhibition at Jeu de Paume, in 2009, “Fellini, la Grande Parade”, testifies to this commitment. After a long period of research in Italy, he returned with an original point of view on a body of work that had, however, already been widely commented on. By updating the interpretative framework, he inscribed Fellini’s work within the visual context of its era. For him, in comparison to books or documentaries, exhibitions provide the additional element of spatiality: “It is important to establish a system that allows the on-screen and off-screen space to be considered together at a glance, in order to revisit both the works and their contextualisation.”

Born in 1973 in Switzerland, Sam Stourdzé studied economics and art history in Paris and began to mount exhibitions as an independant curator from the age of twenty-five. In 1996, he directed NBC Photographie and became, in 2010, Directeur of the Musée de l’Élysée, in Lausanne. He was also the chief curator of the photographic exhibitions of Rendez-vous de l’Historie, in Blois, as well as the Dorothea Lange retrospective and the exhibition on “Charlie Chaplin et les images” (2006).


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