Immersion is an annual photography programme featuring residencies, exhibitions and publications. On a yearly alternating basis, Immersion is open to either photographers based in France, who are mentored by a French professional as they create a new photographic work in the United States, or to photographers based in the United States, who are mentored by an Anglophone professional as they create a new photographic work in France. Through this original photographic commission, the Foundation enables artists to pursue significant new projects that articulate their visions of the geographical and cultural territory they explore during their residencies.
Founded in 2014, Immersion began as a three-year partnership with the Aperture Foundation. The work created by the artist-laureates during their residencies was featured in exhibitions at the Aperture Gallery, New York, and in bilingual editions co-published by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Aperture. The laureates of the first five years of the programme were, in chronological order, Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Taysir Batniji, Gregory Halpern and Vasantha Yogananthan.
In 2018, Immersion continues to develop together with its new partners: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in the United States and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (HCB) in Paris. The principle of alternating residencies remains in place. The fifth laureate, Vasantha Yogananthan, will carry out his residency in the United States before exhibiting the work that he creates there at the SFMOMA, and then at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, in 2021. This new chapter will thus see the laureates enjoy a solo exhibition in France at this prestigious Parisian institution, which the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès also supports in its role as the exclusive patron of the Prix HCB.
The candidates are proposed by the mentor of the forthcoming edition. From these, the laureate is selected in November by a jury composed of professionals from across the three partner institutions: the SFMOMA, the Fondation HCB and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.