During the Paris Photo press conference last November, the director of the Centre Pompidou – Serge Lavignes – announced the imminent departure of Clément Chéroux, who had been Chief of Photography since the post was created in 2014. Mr Chéroux left the Paris institution to take up a position at the equally prestigious MoMA in San Francisco.
The French museum has just announced that as from 1 July the position will now be filled by Florian Ebner. Born in Regensburg in Germany in 1970, Mr Ebner studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. He began his career teaching in Leipzig, then moved to direct the Photography Museum in Braunschweig (2009-12), before transferring to the Folkwang Museum in Essen. While at Braunschweig he gained attention for the exhibition Cairo, Open City, a reflection on the important role played by photography during the revolution in Egypt in 2011. The show enjoyed a particular resonance and was voted “exhibition of the year” by German art critics.
In 2015 he was the commissaire of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He wanted to draw attention to the parallels and interaction between contemporary art and photography, a theme he will be able to continue in his new function.
He will have plenty to work with, given the wealth of the Paris collection. The photography department at the Centre Pompidou holds more than 40,000 prints and 60,000 negatives that cover the entire history of the medium since its invention. In particular, Florian Ebner will be tasked with injecting life into the collection and raising its profile in the museum.