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Agence VU - Anne Rearick
Anne Rearick

American photographer based in Gloucester (Massachusetts, USA). Anne Rearick has been a member of Agence VU' since 1993, and is represented by the gallery Clémentine de la Féronnière (Paris)

Anne Rearick received a Master degree in Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1990, and has been working as both a teacher and a photographer since then. « In many respects I have been making pictures my entire life, although I didn't own a camera until I was 25 years old. My first image was of my grandmother, tall, standing in front of a blossoming lilac bush, when I was five.  I blinked and there it was and still is, an image wholly intact which gives me strength and solace. I found, at five, a measure of power in this act of image-making, a way of holding on, of parsing what matters, of creating a placemark for all that the image signifies. »

In the tradition of American documentary photography to which she adds her singular generosity, Anne Rearick works over time, often photographing over the course of years, and in doing so she creates lasting bonds with people and places.« Freed from any globalizing project, she lets each one express themselves in turn with their looks, poses, gestures, movement and she reconnects with this profoundly humanistic photography that never looks at her own navel, that does not seek her ego or her identity but goes looking for other, her equal" (Christian Caujolle). Whether in the United States, South Africa or the Basque Country, she endeavors to portray and celebrate the full range of day-to-day experience of her subjects and celebrates its breadth, standing with her subjects instead of in front of them to tell - first and foremost - the pleasure of the moment and the quality of the encounter.

Anne Rearick is the author of four monographs: "Miresicoletea" (Atlantica, 2003), "Township" (Clémentine de la Féronnière, 2016), "Sète#17" (le Bec en l'air, 2017) and "True West" (Clémentine de la Féronnière, 2019). She is the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships and awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship Award, the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Award, and the Roger-Pic de la Scam Award. Her photographs are held by prestigious public collections such as those of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Centre national de l'audiovisuel du Luxembourg, and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, among others.

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Idaho, True West (2017)

The American West has changed immeasurably since Anne Rearick was born, in the sixties, in Boise, Idaho. The increasing population has spread subdivisions and shopping malls accelerating the commodification, tourism and homogenization of the region. Farmland growing onion, sugar beets, alfalfa and sweet corn have been trade with massive housing and the riverbank of the Boise river have been rearranged for the leisure of the Californian passing by. But Anne Rearick knows where to look for the vestiges of a more authentic West remaining. While exploring the natural beauty and untamed wilderness of Idaho, she highlights what is left of the True West within the small towns and rural life....

Nez Perce, USA (2011)

Since 2009, Anne Rearick has been going every summer in Lapwai, a little town of Idaho, in the North-West of USA. Here, she has been documenting the daily life of Nez Perce Indian tribe. There are almost 2700 Nez Perce and half of them live in the little town of Lapwai, which is the center of the Nez Perce tribal government. Anne Rearick has documented Lapwai population’s daily life. Her pictures, sober, made in black and white square format, depict the intimacy of a community which knows a lot of social problems. In this city where unemployment is rife, those with jobs work in the nearby Lewiston mill or at the Nez Perce casino.

Inside South Africa's townships - 2004 (2010)

17 years after the abolition of Apartheid, the gap between black and white South-Africans is far from being bridged over. Since 2004, Americain photographer Anne Rearick documents the daily life in the township of Capetown’s suburb. She follows in Langa and Khayelitsha, the people affected by misery and social exclusion. Regularly, Anne Rearick returns to testify on a difficult situation which doesn't seem to evolve over the years. An unweary witness of this inescapable fact, she strives to show the human relationships forged in this environment, and which help making life a little easier. Captown suburbs’ inhabitants are predominantly Xhosas, originating from the east coast of the...

Domestics in South Africa (2010)

Each day before dawn thousands of women in townships across South Africa walk to bus stops and travel the distance – enormous not only in terms of miles but culturally and spiritually, too -- from their homes in the townships to the white suburbs. The mostly black townships are places of extreme hardship, crime and violence. The pristine, predominantly white suburbs are landscaped, and protected with high fences, entry gates with guards, and roving security teams. The women who travel here each day are domestic workers, formerly known as maids. The women clean, cook, iron, and care for children for 90-100 rand a day, roughly $3400 a year. Up to ¼ of this is spent on transportation. The...

Columbia Terrace and Mystic Housing Projects, USA (1990)

Columbia Street and Mystic Projects are housing complexes of immigrant and low-income families located just outside of Boston. The sidewalks, courtyards, and stoops became a stage where I photographed the small daily dramas of the children who lived here. Playing at being grownups, full of imagination and glowing with life--the kids were as yet untouched by drugs, violence, and the hopelessness that is pervasive in these places. I often wonder what their lives have become, hoping that miraculously these children have found a way to escape the trap that is being born poor in America.

Appalachia, USA (1990)

In 1990, I travelled to eastern Kentucky in Appalachia. Lost on mountain roads, I stopped at a small country store and asked directions. Luckily, a man in the store knew where I needed to go and led me down winding roads framed by strip-mined mountainsides until we arrived in Viper. As I drove down the dirt road which lead to the Riddle’s house, barking dogs, chickens in trees, and a boy with sideways eyes carrying a rifle greeted me. This was like no place I had been before and for several of the longest days I remember I lived in a feverish dream witnessing the rites of the Holiness Church, where the handling of deadly snakes and drinking strychnine serve as measures of faith and God’s...

The Basque country

Since 1990, when I received a Fulbright Fellowship to photograph rural life in the Basque Country of southwest France, the heart of my work has been informed by this extraordinary region and its habitues. During the past two decades I have returned at least twice a year, and it has become for me a second home, one whose shifts have resonated with my own evolution as a documenter of place and community and spirit. Many of the old people in St. Jean Pied de Port and its surrounding villages speak not French or Spanish, but Euskara, the Basque language. This linguistic seclusion has contributed to their reputation for being closed and distrustful. Yet since the first day of my first visit,...


Amateur boxing stands in the shadow of its show-off professional cousin. Within this world, which I have photographed in a small boxing club-house in Old Church, Somerville (Massachusetts), during the New England Golden Gloves competition in Lowell (Massachusetts), at Johnny Tocco's sweatbox in Las Vegas, and in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I have found something quieter and purer than I thought boxing could be. Alongside the blood and bruises, exists a relationship between the fighter and the trainer that are as true and loving as relationships can be. The kids who come to the gym are almost by definition at-risk, and what they seek, what they hunger for, is as complicated as love, glory, and...

High school in South Africa

Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," and yet nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, most of South Africa's schools in black townships are desperately failing their charges. Kulani High School is one of two high schools located in Langa, outside of Cape Town. Its grounds and buildings are surrounded by barb wire fence and those allowed entry must first pass through a locked gate and two sets of security guards. There are 1800 students and only 54 teachers. Classrooms are overcrowded and teachers underpaid. 50% of  students do not pass the required final examinations necessary to graduate. Those that do succeed in their...


In the remote Tian Shan mountains, bordering China, and five hours away from Kazahstan’s largest city, the town of Tekeli has experienced all the trials of post-Soviet economic and social dislocation. Once a mining center, the struggles and perseverance of the residents of Tekeli are visible on the faces of the people. Gritty and industrial, the city is in essence, a microcosm of the economic decline of the industrial areas in a post-industrial age. Especially because of the aging population that can not leave, and the continuous exodus of youth towards larger cities. Despite unemployment, insufficient pensions and an increasing isolation among this aging population, I have found and...


True West

" Il y a presque un siècle, ma arrière grand-mère, Maggie May Jones a quitté l’Oklahoma, pour Boise en Idaho avec mari et enfants, dans une roulotte qui contenait la plupart de leurs biens. La tête pleine de rêves. Trois générations plus tard, je naîs. Les souvenirs des étés passés auprès de mon grand-père dans l’Idaho sont les plus forts de mon enfance. Le rodeo et les cow-boys, les drive-in, la descente de la rivière sur des chambres à air, l’odeur et le bruit des pistolets, et la famille ivre…"

L’Idaho est semblable à beaucoup d’États américains : la capitale Boise, avec sa belle université et sa population mixte, n’accueille que 12% de la population. Dans le reste de la région, un ensemble de petites villes rurales, où dans certaines églises, le drapeau américain flotte fièrement à côté de la croix…» Voici le décor de l’histoire photographique personnelle de cette grande photographe américaine, qui travaille dans le temps, en noir et blanc, dans une atmosphère cinématographique.

Anne Rearick est née aux États-Unis en 1960. Elle s’inscrit dans la grande tradition des photographes documentaires humanistes tels que Dorothea Lange ou Diane Arbus. Elle travaille au long cours, plongeant dans le quotidien de ses sujets aussi loin qu’ils l’autorisent. La beauté de ses images s’accorde avec le noir et blanc argentique, et le format large et carré du 6 x 6 de son appareil Hasselblad lui permet de restituer d’infimes détails : la façon dont la peau ressort, la trame de fond d’un paysage…
Text by: Anne Rearick

Publisher: Editions Clémentine de la Féronnière (2019)
152 pages
Size: 21,5 x 24 cm  


I have been working as a documentary photographer for nearly thirty years. Over the past decade I have photographed life in the townships of Langa, Khayelitsha, Philippi and Mitchell's Plain outside of Cape Town, South Africa. My work there began during a Guggenheim Fellowship year for my exploration of the culture of amateur boxing. During my trip, I met people living in Langa and Khayelitsha and began photographing the Luvuyo Boxing Club in Khayelitsha. I felt uncomfortable as another white person with a camera, photographing people with less resources and access to power. Subsequently, I cut my trip short, unsure of the work I was doing and who would actually benefit from it. Upon my return to the States, I looked at the pictures I had made decided to go back to learn more, to further explore post-apartheid life in black communities. After over a dozen trips and more than a thousand rolls of film, I began to believe that the pictures mattered-they were not about people as victims, or about poverty, or any of those things we imagine life in black South African townships to be.
Outside the cities frequented by tourists and business travelers, in vibrant townships, I found beauty and strength and all the contradictions of being human in the people I photographed; a preacher testifying to his rapt congregation; a couple's loving embrace at day’s end; the proud regard of my friend Sindi in her traditional Xhosa dress; the moving funeral of a young Sotho man; the poetry and grace of a girl dancing on a warm Sunday afternoon; and the striking face of “Dream Girl,” a young woman studying to be a traditional healer, a “sangoma."

This work has taken me into classrooms of overcrowded schools, the emergency room of an underfunded government hospital, burgeoning churches and the homes of those who live there. With South Africa’s current political climate, economic instability and increasing social unrest, these images serve as a reminder of all that is at stake in this fragile new democracy.

From my first body of work, on Basque life and culture in southwest France, to this current project, I have worked in the humanist tradition of photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Eugene Richards and Peter Magubane, striving to make images that foster empathy, understanding, and social change. I endeavor to honestly portray the rich and full range of day-to-day experience of the people I encounter. I have launched this campaign to raise money to defray the costs of a book of these photographs that I am thrilled to be co-publishing with Editions Clémentine de la Féronniere. "
Text by: Phillip Prodger et Sipho Mpongo

Publisher: Editions Clémentine de la Féronniere (2016)
144 pages
Size: 25 x 28 cm  

Anne Rearick’s eye

Point de spectaculaire, aucun effet, juste de l'amour pour une terre et des gens découverts un jour, si loin de l'Amérique, et accompagnés avec le profond respect qu'ils méritent. Juste un parfait album de souvenirs heureux à la manière d'un album de la famille qu'Anne Rearick s'est choisie au Pays basque.
Christian Caujolle
Text by: Bernado Atxaga, Gabriel Bauret, Christian Caujolle

Publisher: Editions Atlantica (2003)
150 pages
Size: 30x24 cm
ISBN :2843946476   


    2014 - Prix Roger Pic (SCAM) pour "Afrique du Sud - Chroniques d'un township"

    2007 - Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant

    2003 - Sommerville Arts Council Grant

    2003 - Guggenheim Fellowship Award

    2002 - Dorothea Lange / Paul Taylor Prize (Honorable Mention)

    1998 - Mosaique Programme, Luxembourg

    1997 - Somerville Arts Council Grant

    1995 - New England Foundation for the Arts

    1995 - St. Botolph's Club Foundation Grant

    1993 - Janet Wu Grant

    1993 - Somerville Arts Council Grant

    1992 - Blanche E.Colman Award

    1991 - Fullbright Fellowship Grant (USA)

    1990 - Somerville Arts Council Grant


True West (Paris)
From 2019-11-16 to 2020-02-22

« Il y a presque un siècle, ma arrière grand-mère, Maggie May Jones a quitté l’Oklahoma, pour Boise en Idaho avec mari et enfants, dans une roulotte qui contenait la plupart de leurs biens. La tête pleine de rêves. Trois générations plus tard, je naîs. Les souvenirs des étés passés auprès de mon grand-père dans l’Idaho sont les plus forts de mon enfance. Le rodeo et les cow-boys, les drive-in, la descente de la rivière sur des chambres à air, l’odeur et le bruit des pistolets, et la famille ivre… L’Idaho est semblable à beaucoup d’États américains : la capitale Boise, avec sa belle...

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Festival du Regard 2019 (Cergy-Pontoise )
From 2019-05-24 to 2019-07-14

Within the scope of the 4th edition of the Festival du Regard focusing this year on the theme of occupied environment, the American photographer Anne Rearick will display two extracts from her series “Pays Basque” and “Township”. In 1990 Anne Rearick leaved American East Coast and spent one year to photograph rural life in the Basque Country of southwest France. Since then, she has returned at least twice a year. In Iparralde, far from big cities’ tumult, time stood. Anne Rearick seeks to capture moments of authenticity and purity. For ten years, she photographed the same people, in...

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Anne Rearick (Libourne)
From 2018-03-16 to 2018-04-15

Printemps Photographique Pomerol Anne Rearick est une photographe américaine née en 1960 à Caldwell dans l’Idaho. S’inscrivant dans la grande tradition de la photographie documentaire, elle travaille sur des projets au long cours, préférant, et de loin, l’approfondissement des relations humaines au zapping touristique. Creusant son sujet pendant plusieurs années, Rearick privilégie la mise en retrait du photographe à la position de surplomb. Et si elle se fixe, à l’occasion, une thématique précise, à l’image de sa plongée fascinante dans le monde de la boxe amateur qui lui valut...

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Sète #17 (Sète)
From 2017-05-24 to 2017-06-11

Des gens, des lumières. On pourrait dire que Sète se résume à cela sous l’œil d’Anne Rearick. Tout simplement, avec l’immense liberté qui est la sienne, avec la souplesse qui lui fait balader de façon élégante le carré de son cadre jusqu’à réduire, sans le limiter, l’espace de son expérience à ce carré qui devient magique parce qu’inexplicable. Son Sète est habité de personnages entre lesquels elle n’établit aucune hiérarchie mais avec lesquels elle recherche un dialogue d’images en espérant que, l’un à côté de l’autre, ils donneront non un portrait – impossible – de la ville, mais un...

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South Africa, Chronicles of a Township (Perpignan)
From 2014-08-30 to 2014-09-14

For the past decade Anne Rearick has photographed life in predominantly black townships outside Cape Town. Her pictures (using a conventional medium format camera) display humanist sensibility and convey the spirit of South Africans who face endemic violence, extreme economic hardship, and unabated racism, yet still maintain dignity, hope and courage. Rearick\'s work has taken her into the classrooms of overcrowded schools and the emergency room of an underfunded public hospital, into churches and people\'s homes. With South Africa\'s current political climate, economic instability and...

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South Africa: chronicles of a township (Bobigny)
From 2013-11-07 to 2014-01-04

“I found both beauty and combat in modern-day South Africa, but I also found the whole range of human contradictions”. Seventeen years after the end of Apartheid, Anne Rearick travelled to South Africa several times. Her work led her to share the everyday lives of its inhabitants, in the schools, churches, hospitals and houses of the townships of Langa and Khayelitsha, in the suburbs of Cape Town. “South Africa is a land of extremes: extreme beauty, extreme violence, extreme courage and both extreme hope and despair”. Anne Rearick’s images accurately reflect these mixed...

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Afrique du Sud. Après l’apartheid (Valence)
From 2010-06-11 to 2010-09-19

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South Africa from apartheid to nowadays (Sète)
From 2009-04-30 to 2009-05-10

Anne Rearick is an american photographer passionated by South Africa since 2003, and specially by shantytowns of Cape Town. Her classical, squared, black and white images traduce a strong closeness and a real empathy.(about 30 photos)

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Pays Basque (Le Mans cedex 2)
From 2008-09-20 to 2008-10-25

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