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Exteriors – Annie Ernaux & Photography

Where: Maison de la Photographie, Paris

When: 28-02-2024 / 26-05-2024

Description: Exteriors — Annie Ernaux and Photography celebrates the close relationship between photography and the writing of Annie Ernaux, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2022, through texts from her book Exteriors (Journal du dehors), 1993, and photographs from the MEP collection. The exhibition is the product of a residency conducted by the curator and writer Lou Stoppard in April 2022, which focused on using the MEP collection as a catalyst for new research and for linking photography to other mediums.

The exhibition: Exteriors — Annie Ernaux and Photography celebrates the dynamic relationship between photography and the writing of Annie Ernaux. Winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, Annie Ernaux is known for her social and feminist commitment and her ability to explore universal themes such as memory, identity and the human condition. Her precise style and emotional analysis have made her a major figure in contemporary literature. It combines texts from Ernaux’s book Exteriors (Journal du dehors), 1993 – a record of happenings on trains, shops and streets in-and-around Cergy-Pontoise between 1985 and 1992 – with more than one hundred and fifty images from the MEP collection by major photographers such as Harry Callahan, Claude Dityvon, Dolorès Marat, Daido Moriyama, Janine Niepce, Issei Suda, Henry Wessel and Bernard Pierre Wolff, amongst others. The image selection covers the second half of 20th century and includes photographs mostly taken in France but also in England, Japan, USA and other countries.

(Source: Exteriors — Annie Ernaux & Photography – La MEP (


Exhibition poster, photograph by Dolores Marat. 

Reviews: BBC ‘Open Book’, 28 March 2024,


Exhibition catalogue: Exteriors: Annie Ernaux and Photography, ed. Lou Stoppard, MacBooks, 2024, available in French and in English editions,