Media Release: New photo exhibition, ‘Changement de Decor’, by Albie Clark at the Institut français d’Ecosse

Photographer, Albie Clark

THE Institut français d’Ecosse is proud to present Changement de décor, an exhibition of the work of Scottish photographer, Albie Clark, showcasing the participation of the Institut during the summer 2012 Edinburgh Festivals.

The Edinburgh summer festivals say a lot about the vitality of the cultural scene in Scotland, and summer is certainly the most intense and vibrant period for international arts in Scotland. As an institution deeply rooted in the Scottish cultural landscape, the Institut français d’Ecosse has always participated in the festivals’ excitement, as a supporter and a venue.

In summer 2012, the Institut français transformed its year-long premises into a Festivals venue. In the course of four weeks, it hosted theatre shows (more than 160 performances), film screenings, talks, social events and parties for the International Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Book Festival and the newly launched Fashion Festival.

From the get-in to the get-out and at the heart of the action during a very busy month, Albie Clark had paced up and down the venue, opened the closed doors, followed the artists long after the curtain close and into the night to capture this ‘changement de décor’ and the energy of a vibrant and very French festivals venue before it all vanished.

Presented as a mixture of reportage, portraiture and live performance images, Changement de Décor aims to articulate the breadth and variety of cultural activities the Institute’s Festival programme represents.

Albie Clark explains: “The summer Festivals have long been a cultural highlight for the city of Edinburgh and artists, and this year I was afforded unprecedented access to its inner workings at the French Institute. As a photographer, developing an intimate knowledge of your subject is crucial in providing an accurate, honest depiction and it was vital in shooting the project that this type of ‘total access’ came across in the images I produced.”

Vincent Guérin, director of the Institut français d’Ecosse, says: “2012 has been an incredible year with so many fantastic French artists, companies, writers invited to the Edinburgh Summer Festivals. I am very proud the Institut français was fully involved in this very special year as a hub for French arts and Franco-Scottish artistic collaborations. Looking at Albie’s subtle and beautiful photographs I definitely feel like I cannot wait for the Summer 2013 Festivals to arrive.”

A fully-illustrated hardback catalogue, Changement de décor, accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue includes introductions by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs; Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival; Kath Mainland, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival; and Vincent Guérin, director of the Institut français d’Ecosse.


For further information and images, please contact Vanessa Bismuth : 0131 2207751 or

Preview: Wednesday 14 November – 6 pm – 8 pm. Albie Clark will be available for interview.

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9.30 am – 6.30 pm / Sat 9.30 am – 1.00 pm.

Note to Editors

- The hard backed catalogue is priced at £10 and is available to pre-order. All pre-order copies will be signed by the artist. It will be available to purchase at the Institut francais d’Ecosse from 15 November 2012.

- Albie Clark was born in Fife in the late 1970s, spending his formative years in Gloucester and Elgin before studying for an MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His photographic practice developed after spending a year in Japan, concentrating on street photography. He is a founding member of The Photographers Collective, an organisation established to nurture and promote photographic talent, as well as provide workshops and community outreach programmes. Recent personal work has focused on documenting ‘edgelands’ in Fife, Edinburgh and the North, those areas touched by commercial development but skirting the divide between urban and extra-urban environments. Additional information is available on

- The Institut français is the agency of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs with responsibility for cultural activity outside France. In Scotland, the agency is represented by the Institut français d’Ecosse (Edinburgh) which promotes French language and culture by providing French courses and organising events (film screenings, talks, exhibitions, concerts, etc.). It also aims to encourage cross-cultural exchange between France and Scotland, in cooperation with Scottish Francophile institutions. Additional information is available on or follow us on Twitter @ifecosse.

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Contact: Vanessa Bismuth
Phone: 0131 220 7751