San Bartolomé

San Bartolomé (Pierre-Jean de), was born in 1950. He is of French, Spanish, Italian and German decent. Photographer, stage director, artistic manager, writer and diplomat. But above all

"a great traveler, a citizen of the world, curious about all the cultures, aware of their complementary natures and of the beneficial influence they provide to one's own self".

portrait de Pierre-Jean de San Bartholomé, la lettre

First steps into the world of images


While alternatively studying law, literature and the cinema, San Bartolomé writes a "verbal opera", entitled "Caligula", (1971), organizes an exhibition about Jean Cocteau and shoots his first Super 8 movie, "Dialogue Interrompu" (Interrupted dialogue) (1972).

dialogue interrompu

An assistant director for the film "L'affaire Dominici"", starring Jean Gabin, shot on the very place where the crime occurred, he can be seen sitting at the "patriarch's" table, in front of Gérard Depardieu, for whom it is the first role in the movies.

l'affaire dominici

The shooting of the film goes on in Paris and for him it is the opportunity to go up there... and to stay there. He meets Isabelle Adjani—for whom he writes a scenario—her agent, Serge Rousseau, and Philippe Dussart, the producer of Alain Resnais. This is the starting point of an unfailing friendship with Isabelle....

isabelle adjani rencontre avec Pierre Cardin

"Dialogue Interrompu" is put on the schedule of the Biennal Modern Art Exhibit at the Palais de Tokio, in Paris. Jean de Rigault, the Espace Cardin artistic manager, is present at the projection and introduces him to Pierre Cardin. Thus begins a long collaboration.

At a time when videos are just a fledgling technology, young filmmakers are putting all their hopes in the Super 8 film technology, a cheap means of expression... San Bartolomé thus uses it to shoot, on triple screen, the film of an Anne Béranger's dance company ballet (Espace Cardin , May 1973).

affiche du ballet, Compagnie Anne Béranger

He creates the cinema interventions of Jean Louis Barrautl's show "Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra", that are projected on seven screens. (Théâtre d'Orsay, Renaud-Barrault Compagny, November 1974)

rencontre avec Jean Louis Barrault couverture de La Dépouille

That same year, on the radio, Madeleine Renaud reads two short stories taken from his book "La dépouille".

He begins shooting the experimental full-length film "Ariane" with a handful of actors and friends: Isabelle Adjani, Emmanuelle Riva, Jacques Spiesser, Daniel Gélin, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Boissery… Pascal Bonafoux designs the film poster.

affiche et scène de tournage d'Ariane San Bartolomé dirige Isabelle Adjani

As soon as the editing is completed the idea of a simultaneous projection on three screens has to be abandoned for lack of adequate tools. These tools will never be created.

The film is then edited again by San Bartolomé to be projected on a unique screen. But in spite of numerous cuts it is too long and looses much of its interest. Yet, it remains the main event of the First International Super-8 Film Festival, at the Espace Pierre Cardin (December, 1974).

Premier Festival International du Super 8 festival de Cannes 1977

It will then be presented (120 mm version, increased to 16 mm) at the Cannes film festival in 1977, in the "Perspectives of the French cinema" selection. Without the director's agreement it is then edited and cut once more by the co-producer of the film, crystals are ludicrously superimposed and the film is given the ridiculous title of "Perspectives of the French cinema" selection. Without the director's agreement it is then edited and cut once more by the co-producer of the film, crystals are ludicrously superimposed and the film is given the ridiculous title of "Espace Zéro".(Zero Space)

Supported by Isabelle Adjani, Jean Pierre Stora, the music composer, and Maitre Pierre Hébey, San Bartolomé feels compelled to ban the release of such a totally distorted piece of work.

The Super 8 support, which does not have negatives, turns out to be very difficult to edit and confronted to the fast progress of video images, it is rapidly abandoned.

San Bartolomé au montage du Super 8

In 1975, Pierre Cardin presents the first big exhibition dedicated to Sarah Bernard, involving more than 700 objects, paintings, pieces of furniture and costumes. San Bartolomé ensures the scenography of the exhibition.

Couverture du catalogue et œuvre de l'exposition Sarah Bernhardt

From decor making to writing, from the theater to television

back to the top Eléonore Hirt dans La Gioconda

San Bartolomé designs the costumes and stage sets of Gabriele d'Annunzio's La Gioconda, starring Eléonore Hirt, and of Marivaux's "Le Petit Maître corrigé", produced by Jean Rougerie (March et December 1977) for the Firmin Gémier Theater in Antony.

Eléonore Hirt dans La Gioconda Michel Bouquet et Bernard Alane dans Almira

Michel Bouquet, here seen with Bernard Alane, plays in San Barolome's first play "Almira", at the Espace Pierre Cardin (fall of 1978).

San Bartolomé also works for the television: he adapts "Le voleur d'enfants" (the children's thief) by Jules Supervielle, for François Leterrier (1979). Then with Jacques Laurent from the Académie Française (Cécil Saint Laurent), he co-writes the series "Capitaine X" for Antenne 2 (1980 to 1982).

San Bartolomé interviewé à la télévision

From festival planning to opera producing

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From 1980 to 1989, he plans the Vaison-la-Romaine Festival, creates a new theater, the "Théâtre du Nymphée", where he produces Caccini's "Eurydice" (1985) before moving on to the "Théâtre Antique", where he stages Shakespeare's "Le songe d'une nuit d'été" and the complete set of Mendelssohn's stage music (1986).

mise en scène d'Eurydice mise en scène de L'aiglon

Then he produces "L'Aiglon" by Honegger and Ibert with the participation of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and of France 2 Télévision (1987).

With the Camerata of Boston, he signs the production of "Tristan et Iseult" which leads him from New York to Boston. The opera closes Strasbourg's 50th Music Festival before being put on the stage of the Vaison Festival (February to July 1988).

Tristan et Iseult Tristan et Iseult affiche de Tristan et Iseult mise en scène de I Capuletti e i Montecchi I Capuletti e i Montecchi

His production of the opera "I Capuletti e i Montecchi" (Bellini's Romeo and Juliet) for the Vaison-la-Romaine festival is a real re-discovery for the public (Vaison,1989). It is presented at the Vichy Opera House, at the Mediterranean Festival and at the Paris Champs Elysées Theater (December 1990).

At the same time he creates and supervises a new international dance festival for Pierre Cardin: "Les Nuits de l'Estérel" (1984/1985).

He shoots short and medium sized films among which "Abandons" starring Lambert Wilson, co-produced by Philippe Dussart, and released in movie theaters along with Iosseliani's "Les Favoris de la lune", then on television (1983). He also produces "Elizabeth", a film inspired by the story of the assassination of "Sissi", the empress of Austria, with Sophie Duez, Annabella et André Dussolier (1987).

Lambert Wilson dans Abandons Sophie Duez dans Elizabeth Elizabeth Sophie Duez et André Dussolier dans Elizabeth

His new production of the opera "La favorite" by Donizetti, is given in the French original version, with a never-heard before tune, at the Paris Opéra Comique and Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Paris, 1991), then at Jiry Kylian's National Dance Theatre (La Haye,1992).

mise en scène de La favorite

A desire for Asia

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A chance invitation to South Korea - to manage the production, decors and costumes for Puccini's "La Bohème" at the National Korea Theater of Seoul (1990) - allows him to discover a fascinating culture that awakens in him a "desire for Asia". It is the beginning of a long series of trips to the Far East.

mise en scène de La bohème affiche de La bohème Il Trovatore affiche de Il Trovatore

After the success of his Elixir d'Amore by Donizeti, he is invited once more by the National Opera for Il Trovatore (1991), La favorite (1992), Carmen (1993), Manon Lescaut (1996) and creates Francis Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias (2000).

affiche des Mamelles de Tirésias

Korea, is only one step away from China, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia... Hence the idea of proposing an East-meets-West festival, an international meeting between musicians and choreographers of both continents, whose events unfolds in St-Florent-le-Vieil, Nantes and Anger.

affiche du Festival Asie-Occident

From 1989 to 1998 he produces: Louis XIV and Le Siam ; du Yang Tseu à la Loire, (1994) ; Alim et Jeff, with Jeff Bukley and Alim Qasimov (1995) ; Jeune Chine Céleste Empire, in collaboration with Daniel Bedos, le Printemps des Comédiens and le Parc de la Villette ; Victor Segalen, a poetical and musical trip with Jean Claude Carrière and Contes du Vietnamby Nguyen Lê with the participation of Didier Lockwood, Paolo Fresu and the choreographer Thierry Thieu Nang (co-production Banlieue Bleue, 1996)

LThe same year, at Hong Kong, he manages lights on La route tzigane.

affiche de Jeune Chine Céleste Empire Rencontre entre Opéra Chinois et Opéra Bouffe Italien Rencontre entre Opéra Chinois et Opéra Bouffe Italien Rencontre entre Opéra Chinois et Opéra Bouffe Italien affiche de Rencontre entre Opéra Chinois et Opéra Bouffe Italien

Then come: Mékong mémoire d'un Fleuve ; by Marguerite Duras, with Marie Laforêt and the ensemble Ca Tru from Hanoî.

In 1997, San Bartolomé organizes a concert and show around Pédrini's sonatas. Pédrini was the master of music and private tutor of the imperial children. The show is given in Prince Gong's palace, near Beijing's Forbidden City as well as A Jesuit at the Court of the Chinese Emperors with the Ensemble XVIII-21 1 and the National Ensemble of Chinese Traditional Music. He also produces Meeting between the Chinese Opera and the Italian Opera Bouffe at the Hai Dian Theater.

In 2000, the great project of a musical, based on Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne (music by the Singaporean composer Dick Lee and libretto by San Bartolomé) in co-production with Shanghai, Singapore and Seoul, will unfortunately never come into being.

Photography: in search of the other

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In 1998, his first photo exhibition with the photographer Li Fang, Dialogue intime/ Intimate Dialogue, is presented at the Maison de la Chine, in Paris. It is the outcome of many trips and stays in Asia. At the same time the book Au bois dormant / Sleeping Beauties is released and the pictures are displayed in an exhibition at the FNAC bookstore in Nantes.

Au bois dormant Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties is invited to the Aarhus Festival in Denmark in 2000. He shows other photographs from China at the Alliance Française in Singapore along with his Indonesian Parantritis work Parantritis, Sunday on the beach (January-February 1999) .

Parantritis, sunday on the beach

Sleeping Beauties is invited to the Aarhus Festival in Denmark in 2000.

The France-China cross-cultural years: the end of the trip

back to the top Le miroir aux lychees Le miroir aux lychees Le miroir aux lychees

Croisées France-Chine - approximately 300 events in each country) traditional Chinese art shows. He travels to every corner of the Chinese provinces with the help of the "Chinese People's Organization For the Friendship with other Peoples" and puts on Le miroir aux lychees, an extremely rare opera, by Li Yuan Xi and the Nan Yin or Nan Kuan at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris (2004).

In the fall of 2003, he joins the French Embassy in Beijing as a cultural attaché, that is to say a middleman between the French and Chinese commissioners for the year's artistic events of the Year of China in France.

In parallel San Bartolomé goes on with his work as a photographer and is invited by Fan Dian to participate in the exhibition "Encounters" at the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts (December 2003).

Chen Xing Dong, the gallery owner, displays his work at the "Premier Salon d'Automne de Pékin" (the first autumn art show in Beijing) at the Beijing National Museum on Tian An Men square (2004).

Premier Salon d'Automne de Pékin

In the fall of 2005, his personal photo exhibition, Digital, at Meishuaguan, China's National Fine Arts Museum, is part of the closing events of the Year of China in France. It is inaugurated by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French minister of Culture. A book, based on the exhibition catalogue and entitled Ombres chinoises (Shadow show), is released in France for the 2006 Paris annual book fair.

Musée National des Beaux Arts de Chine exposition d'Ombres chinoises

The Croisements Festival: an exemplary cultural exchange

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In 2006 he creates for the French Embassy the Croisements / Jiao Liu festival. He programs and manages the first three sessions until the end of the Olympic Games (August 2008) and organizes outstanding meetings between French and Chinese artists in some twenty cities, all over China and Asia.

affiche du festival Croisements  / Jiao Liu affiche du festival Croisements  / Jiao Liu affiche du festival Croisements  / Jiao Liu  Croisements, les voyageurs

Under the same name, Croisements, he realizes a series of studio photographs at China's Fine Arts Central Academy.

After the Olympic Games: back to photography

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DDuring the Olympic and Para-Olympic games he takes a series of photographs and shoots a HD video Two Worlds, One Dream , inspired by the Chinese Olympics Motto: One World, One Dream.

These works has been exhibited in China under the title Beijing Midsummer Night Dream.

Beijing Midsummer Night Dream

* 2010: Nominated Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by Frederic Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture.

At the tenth anniversary of the International Ping Yao photo festival he is awarded, along with the German and Korean photographers Daniel Schumann Moo Hyong Kwon, the Price of Best Foreign Photographer.

Beijing Midsummer Night Dream