Immersion. A French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation

Gregory Halpern is the fourth laureate of Immersion, A French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation.This edition of the photography programme of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès benefits from a new partnership between the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.

 

Founded in 2014, Immersion, A French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation is an annual photography programme featuring exchange residencies, exhibitions and publications. On a yearly alternating basis, Immersion is open to either photographers based in the United States who are mentored by an English-speaking professional as they create a new photographic work in France, or to photographers based in France, who are mentored by a French professional as they create a new photographic work in the United States.

Following a three-year partnership with the Aperture Foundation (New York), this programme dedicated to contemporary photography and organized by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès will now take place with the support of two new partner institutions, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris. At the end of their residency, each laureate will benefit from a solo exhibition hosted by both of these two prestigious art institutions, in the United States and in France. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a bilingual publication.

Each year, the portfolios of eight candidates are submitted by a mentor to a jury of professionals drawn from across the programme’s partner institutions. Following a preliminary selection, five photographers are each awarded a grant of €1,000 to develop a specific project and to create a presentation portfolio for submission to the jury.

This year’s jury met in Paris on November 6th, 2018, on the occasion of Paris Photo, to select a laureate on the merit of their proposed project. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès will award the laureate a grant of €40,000 to carry out their residency and their project, and will also fund their solo exhibitions at SFMOMA and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as the publication of the book that accompanies this exhibition.

The mentor for the fourth edition is Clément Chéroux, Senior Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This year’s laureate, Gregory Halpern (b. 1977 in Buffalo, New York), will carry out his residency in Guadeloupe in 2019 ahead of solo exhibitions of his work at SFMOMA in the summer of 2020 and at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris in autumn 2020. A bilingual publication dedicated to his work will be published jointly by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture.

The previous laureates of Immersion, A French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation were Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques (France) in 2016, Alessandra Sanguinetti (United States) in 2017 and Taysir Batniji (France/Palestine) in 2018.

 

Gregory Halpern

(Buffalo, New York, born in 1977)
Laureate of the fourth edition of Immersion, A French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation

Gregory Halpern was born in 1977, in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. ZZYZX (Mack, 2016) was awarded Photobook of the Year at Paris Photo in 2016, and he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. He teaches photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York. He has published several books of photographs, including Confederate Moons (TBW Books, 2018), ZZYZXA (J&L Books, 2011) and Harvard Works Because We Do (Quantuck Lane, 2003). He has also published East of the Sun, West of the Moon(Études, 2014), a collaboration with Ahndraya Parlato, and he is the editor, along with Jason Fulford, of The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 250 Assignments and Ideas (Aperture, 2014).

 

Clément Chéroux
Senior Curator of Photography at SFMOMA & Mentor of the fourth edition of Immersion

Clément Chéroux is a curator of photography and holds a doctorate in the history of art. From 2013 to 2016, he was Chief Curator of the Department of Photography for the Musee National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou and joined the museum as Curator of Photography in 2017. In January 2017, he joined the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as Senior Curator of Photography for the Pritzker Center for Photography. He has curated numerous exhibitions including The Memory of the Camps: Photography from Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps, 1933-1999 (2001), The Third Eye: Photography and the Occult (2004), The Subversion of Images: Surrealism, Photography, Film (2009), Shoot!: Existential Photography (2010), Henri Cartier-Bresson (2014), Paparazzi!: Photographers, Stars and Artists (2014), Walker Evans (2017) and The Train: RFK’s Last Journey (2018). He has edited several dozen books on photography and photographic history.

 

Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès operates nine major programmes centred on skills, creativity and transmission: New Settings and Artistes dans la Cité for the performing arts, Exhibitions and Artists’ residencies for the visual arts, Immersion for photography, Manufacto – the Skills Factory and its Skills Academyfor the discovery and perfection of artisan trades. H3 is the Foundation’s worldwide programme of support for organisations whose work reflects these central aims.
Our Biodiversity programme enacts a core commitment to protect fragile ecosystems for future generations. The Foundation’s diverse activities are governed by a single, over-arching belief: Our gestures define us.

 

Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson was founded in 2003 to preserve, share and promote the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck. It holds a unique and protected collection, and accompanies academics and exhibition curators in their research projects. The Foundation supports contemporary creation and promotes dialogue around photography through six annual exhibitions and the HCB Prize, as well as through events and educational workshops. In order to continue to develop its programming, the Foundation has moved to a new home in the Marais neighbourhood in Paris that features an exhibition space double the size of its previous site.

 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

SFMOMA is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA, with triple the gallery space, the largest space for display and study of photography at any art museum in the United States, an enhanced education center and new free public galleries, opened to the public on May 14, 2016. Since its inaugural year, the expanded museum has welcomed more than one million visitors annually.

Photo:
Gregory Halpern ©Gregory Halpern