La Samaritaine gives 11 photographers carte blanche

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La Samaritaine is gearing up for its makeover, transforming the site into a new space for contemporary living in the heart of Paris. Reaffirming its longstanding ties with creative talents, La Samaritaine has invited 11 promising young  photographers to explore the mythic site in its current state of transition with the interior walls removed.

The photographers were chosen for their singular and complementary visions to propose a compelling rediscovery of this unique place. David de la Rueda, Philong Sovan and Marin Hock were attracted by a purely contemplative approach, while Marie Gruel employed the architecture as a backdrop for accessories and souvenirs that she scattered in different spaces, guided by her imagination.

The group was shortlisted for the Samaritaine Young Photographer Prize, created to encourage talented young photographers. For this first edition, the jury—chaired by photographer Sarah Moon and Antoine Arnault—gave the grand prize to self-taught photographer Philong Sovan.

This kaleidoscopic vision will be presented in an exhibition from October 26-November 24, 2013 on the main floor and lower floor of the former Samaritaine No. 3 store. This extraordinary setting is an Art Deco jewel built by  Henri Sauvage in 1930. The exhibition will also be open to the public on October 5 from 7 pm to 1 am as part of the city of Paris “Nuit Blanche” all-night cultural event.