Sunday, November 22, 2009

89 galleries, 13 publishing houses, 23 countries...

Me trying to turn myself into an Audrey Corregan photograph

I was really happy to find out that my mentor too believed in the importance of mutual exchange and collaboration, as the above photograph on display at Paris Photo proves (forgive me for not remembering which gallery was showing it). This belief was also probably what brought a group of European-based bloggers to meet in an elegant (and maybe a little expensive - let's be honest, way too expensive) bar, in front of the Carrousel du Louvre - the place where the fair took place last week end - after plunging through hundreds of works of photographic art and their often unpredictable prices. The meeting was another nice chance to meet in person, share thoughts, imagine future cooperations, explain our own respective method of work. Or, as some of us said, pleasantly discover that we are not alone in our blogging and internet madness, that there are many others lost in some kind of endless research of something worth writing about.

It is then for me a joyful duty to list here all the people I met and thank them again for the time we spent together, hoping we will soon have another chance:

Laurence Vecten from LOZ, promoter of the meeting (thanks again!);

Hester Keijser, none other than Mrs Deane, longtime penpal;

Laure Troussière, from Zoum Zoum;

Marc Feustel, Eye Curious;

Diederick Meijer, the mind behind The Black Snapper;

Nicholas Calcott, On Shadow;

Annelies Kuiper from dutch-doc;

Corinne Vionnet, photographer;

Chiara Capodici and Fiorenza Pinna from 3/3, friends and fellow citizens, actually almost neighbours.

My notes with names of interesting photographers seen at Paris Photo and never saw or heard about before

Having said that, I spare you my indulgent talk on Burtyinsky, Roberts, Gursky, Sugimoto, Wolf, Vitali, all the incredibly expensive small prints of Robert Frank or whatever else I might have seen, and just mention the two most unexpected surprises of the Paris fair:

the first one is a pornographic photograph by Eugène Atget, something I would have never expected by our favourite photographic wanderer (from the same gallery of the photograph by Bayard and Ziegler, apologize again). I leave any comment aside and just share with you this fascinating image and the text accompanying it (hoping the gallerist will not mind about that).

The second surprise falls under an exceptional serendipity: the gallery Lumière des Roses from Montreuil had a previously unknown portrait of Hippolyte Bayard himself. Aside from the fact that their note described him as "the inventor of the photographic image", they celebrated the discovery of this image with a reproduction of the "Self-portrait as a Drowned Man"... on apples. I leave the explanation of this hommage to their own words:

"It is said that Hippolyte Bayard was first inspired in his photographic research by a story about peaches. Bayard's father was a justice of the peace who lived in the country and used to grow peaches in his garden. Every year he gave baskets of fruit he marked with his name to his friends. Just as the fruit was ripening, but before it turned out bright red, Bayard's father cut his initials onto paper that he stuck onto the peaches, before leaving them in the sun to ripen. Once the paper was taken off again the initials showed up white on the reddened fruit. This paternal pastime must have been the influence for the young Hippolyte to carry out his own effects of sunlight on coloured strips of paper."

Since we are in November, Philippe and Marion Jacquier, the two owners of this gallery devoted to
"amateurs, anonymes et 'autres images' photographies des 19è et 20è siècles" chose to print the first self-portrait of the history of photography on a more autumn-like fruit. Having seen my face when I told them the name of this blog and left them my e-mail, they kindly gave me an apple as a present; if I keep it in the fridge it can last up to five months, Marion said, but she also told me that at some point I should eat it, after all it is an apple.

My own photographic apple

PS: causa carenza di tempo e necessità di pubblicare in tempi brevi, questo post è soltanto in inglese. Chiedo venia ai lettori italiani, non me ne vogliate.

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