Beatrix von Conta in residence in the Gaspé (2012)

Beatrix von Conta, photographer, was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She has lived in France since 1975.
Beatrix von Conta

Peyrins (France) |

For 25 years she has been questioning, with a critical distance, the fragility of the contemporary landscape, whose signs, either minimal or prominent, of a progressing mutation she highlights without nostalgia. The memory of the landscape underlies many of these series, whether the subject be places devastated by natural catastrophes, the traces of the bombardments of 1940 left behind in urban areas, or the messes produced by large construction sites. “L’Observatoire photographique des paysages de Vanoise” (Photographic Observatory of the Landscapes of Vanoise; 2006-2008) would be the first photographic observatory from altitude in France, and in “L’Eau Barré” (Blocked-Off Water), a long-term project, she tackles in a sustained way the impact of dams in France on waterways and surrounding landscapes as well as the diversely fashioned installations designed to control the rivers.


“Photographing the landscape requires a positioning with respect to the world, and every journey to unknown lands embodies a challenge, imposes a posture that I would call the ‘great divide.’ That of finding the right distance, of comprehending, despite the dazzle of the encounter, what seems significant and just in the facets that the real gives us to see.

“My first enchanted encounter with the Gaspé and the new world, the occasion of my first improvised shots, happened in 2011 thanks to my exhibit ‘Timişoara, Between Gray and Green’ in Marsoui, at Rencontres internationales de la photographie en Gaspésie. That experience of the landscape took place, beginning with my arrival, under a fine and unremitting rain, a gray curtain, sumptuous and velvety, slowing down the entry of images on the photographic stage. An aquatic element in resonance with the land and its broad body of water. It immediately, and radically, reduced to nothingness the deceptive seduction of the initial contact, allowing for the emergence of a secret and unspectacular truth arising from these vast landscapes with their scattered homes, at the same time monochrome and colorful. My relationship with time found itself jolted, the role of the sky magnified.

“Over those few days with my offbeat approach a small photographic series came together, anything but stereotypical, marked by a singular attachment to invisible landscapes, subtle and silent, with spatial configurations far removed from those found on the European continent.

“During the 2012 residency I would hope to extend that Gaspesian immersion along the coasts, between sea and land, appearance and disappearance. Do the great divide. Knowing that we never swim twice in the same river and that even the landscape that has grown familiar always guards its share of unfathomable mystery.” – Beatrix von Conta

Recent or significant solo exhibits


  • Traversées paysagères” (Crossing Landscapes), Espace Malraux, Scène Nationale, Chambéry, France.
  • “Quoi de plus naturel?” (What More Natural?), Espace Croix Baragnon, Toulouse, France


  • “Aqua,” lux Scène Nationale de Valence, Valence, France

Recent or significant group exhibit


  • “Objectifs Objectivité – une exposition pour un regard croisé art et science” (Objectives Objectivity – an exhibit for an art and science cross-perspective), Officine Fotografiche, Rome, Italy


  • “Timişoara, entre gris et vert” (Timişoara, Between Grey and Green), Galerie Le Réverbère, Lyon, France “L’Ordre des Choses” (“The Order of Things), Cartoucherie de Valence, Journées Européennes du Patrimoine 2011, Conservation du patrimoine, Valence, France


  • Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
  • Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
  • Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Awards and distinctions


  • Individual creation assistance grant / DRAC Rhône-Alpes (Ministère de la Culture) for “L’Eau Barrée”
  • Finalist (Talents d’Or) for the Talents Contemporains / Prix Internationaux d’Art Contemporain award from the Fondation François Schneider for “L’Eau Barrée”


  • Prix Phénix de Sociophotographie / Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France



  • coupures/reprises (disconnections/resumptions), text by Jean-Pierre Nouhaud, Editions Créaphis, Paris.


  • Galerie Le Réverbère “Vingt-cinq ans, noces d’argent!” (Galerie Le Réverbère “Twenty-Five Years, Silver Wedding Anniversary!”), Editions de l’œil, Paris.


  • Montagne Sainte Victoire, Images en Manoeuvres Édition, Marseille.