PIERRE LEOTARD is the CEO of CORRIDOR ELEPHANT, the well known visionary Editorial Website about Contemporary Photography and Publisher of famous magnificent photo-book-magazine "NIEPCEBOOK" but also of more than 50 limited edition Author's Books.
I had the great honour to meet Pierre Léotard a little over five years ago. When I say lucky, it is precisely because one does not often have the chance to meet such a person in one’s life. First of all, because there are few people like him, who you would spend your time listening to because what he has to say is so interesting, thoughtful, well balanced and structured, of great intellectual richness and endowed with an unusual, subtle and precursory angle of view.
He is a luminous being and yet he is a man of the shadows, someone who does not often like to put himself forward and take center stage. The well-known anecdote about him is not a legend: He is often solicited for his expertise in the field of contemporary
photography, a photographer himself by training and a hyper-talented artist, full of sensitivity and expression, which is why many festivals and juries regularly invite him, but almost always, when he does not decline, it is not he who will travel, preferring to send one of the members of the Corridor Elephant’s editorial committee in his place, to whom he has full confidence; and if he were to visit, he would do so incognito. Pierre is not one of those people who live only for the honours and the glitter of the worldly salons.
Pierre prefers to think, to create, to build, to invent, to be where he is not expected and above all where no one has gone before.
Thus, in 2012, he founded Corridor Elephant, a non-profit association with a dozen photographers, journalists, authors and artists, in order to defend a certain idea of contemporary photography, and in particular quality photography, which unfortunately is still little exhibited, hardly or not at all published, whatever its origin, young photography or photography by older authors who have not yet had the chance to be noticed, photography from all continents.
In 2013, Corridor Elephant is already the first digital publishing house dedicated to contemporary photography and its ebooks are distributed by more than 500 platforms in 51 countries.
In 2016, Corridor Elephant inaugurated a new kind of periodical on contemporary photography, the «Niepcebook». Halfway between a coffee table book and a magazine, with a sober and noble presentation, without any advertising, more than 150 pages thick, built with the feedback of its readers, its contributors and the artists who are presented in it, the magazine is only offered in pre-purchase (crowdfunding) which alone determines the number of copies published. It is voluntarily impossible to buy the
magazine at newsstands or in bookshops. Acquiring such a sublime collector’s item, in a limited edition and with confidential distribution, which is carefully kept and which knows how to make a reference, also becomes an act of activism.
In addition to this, Corridor Elephant has become a publisher of monographs by author-photographers based on the same principle as the «Niepcebook»: impeccable quality, crowdfunding, limited edition and copies signed by the artist. Another success, and to date, nearly fifty books have been published, such as those by Mélanie Dornier, Thierry Lathoud and Vanda Spengler, which we are hosting in this exhibition, and the next one to be published, by our permanent artist at The ONE Museum, Pelly Angelopoulou.
So to tell you that when I proposed to Pierre Léotard, who already has so many other new projects in mind, to be the first international curator invited by The ONE Museum for our new cycle of exhibitions «Curated by...», I really didn’t have high hopes, not that he wouldn’t appreciate the invitation since I knew he was positively impressed by the originality of our approach and the quality of our exhibitions and artists, but I thought that his schedule simply wouldn’t allow it, even with the best of intentions. Pierre surprised me once again by accepting spontaneously and nothing could have pleased me more.
It was the guarantee of an absolute eye on contemporary photography, an author’s photography, without any easiness, strong and with a total commitment, a total independence of spirit, an original, right and judicious choice, in total adequacy with the philosophy that we have been trying to institute ourselves since the opening of The ONE Museum. It was finally the guarantee of an exhibition of great quality, of beautiful and valorous artists.
Pierre, for all that you have accomplished in your life, for all that you have contributed and will continue to contribute to contemporary photography, for your amazing friendship, for this magnificent exhibition, for all that, I am infinitely grateful to you!
A huge thank you!
Curator of The ONE Museum