Week Seven Reflections – Paris Photo

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It was the week of a Falmouth Face to Face around Paris Photo, which we combined with family time in the city. Here’s my reflections on the week.

Paris Photo is overwhelming. There is so much to see, both good and not so good. And there comes a point when you just say ‘enough’.

My standouts were James Nachtwey, Max Pinckers, Daido Moriyama and Daniëlle Van Zadelhoff.

The strong, dynamic portraits from Van Zadelhoff were particularly arresting, with lighting that is reminiscent of Renaissance paintings. I also found the emotional content of theimages a pleasant change from today’s almost ubiquitous (and, for me, tedious) ‘deadpan style’.

Daniëlle Van Zadelhoff

Obviously I knew Daido and Nachtwey’s work – but their gallery representation was great.

Daido Moriyama at Akio Nagasawa

Daido is so prolific, but always has something new to observe and thus to say. And I had to buy another book …

Nachtwey is both fearless in his image making, and brilliant in his timing.

I ordered his Italian catalogue, Memoriam, and it was waiting for me when I got home.

James Nachtwey, Memoria

I also spent some time at Radius Books, thanks to a recommendation from my daughter in law, Eugene, who has Darius as one of her teachers in New York. I bought a lovely work by Janelle Lynch, which attracted me as much for its beautiful construction as the imagery itself.

Radius only do 20 books a year, 10 usually photography. Now that would be something.

Radius & Janelle Lynch

The events around the Grand Palais extravaganza were equally interesting. Gutted that I missed Daido’s installation at the Palais Royal though – I found out about it too late.

The Dorothea Lange show at the Jeu De Paume was exceptional. I thought I knew a lot about her work, but this in depth look into her motivations and approach was both instructive and refreshing. It was fascinating to see her images laid out in light boxes, to build a broader view of her approach to an assignment..

Dorothea Lange at Jeu De Paume

Her style of socially conscious, humanist photography seems to be out of fashion today, so it was good to get an energy boost. One niggle – I found it both sad and a little annoying that the subject of ‘Migrant Mother’, Florence Owens Thompson, as not named.

Dorothea Lange at Jeu De Paume

The organised gallery tours with Anna-Maria were also fun, Laura Henno at Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in particular  – the powerful, beautifully composed and images were striking – and lit in a  unique way, almost seeming to be light boxes. On the other hand, I found the films lacking in context, and frankly rather boring.

The triple screen helped, but …

Laura Henno at Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire

It was also good to wander – and, thanks to danny I think, we happened upon the &co119 Japanese bookshop and Gallery. This was a treat, and as I am often in Paris I think it will be a must-revisit.

I love Risaku Susuki’s work, and was happy to pick up another book of his, Stream of Consciousness, signed by the artist.

Risaku Susuki, Stream of Consciousness 

At Paris Photo (and again at Polycopies) I met with Max Pinckers, this year’s winner of Leica’s Oskar Barnack Prize. I find his approach to documentary most interesting. I was a little familiar with Margins of Excess, but as I studied it more, I love the way he takes extreme/sensationalist news and weaves new imagery into the stories.

And, in his prize-winning work, Max’ strategy to use flash / somewhat washed out images to overcome the orchestrated banality in North Korea is quite inspired. In fact, using ‘odd’ aesthetics to help tell the story a different way is not too far away from my own thinking on Traces of Genocide.

Max Pinckers, from Red Ink

At the Leica stand, it was also good to meet the Chairman, Andreas Kauffman, once again. He may be the majority owner of one of the world’s most famous camera companies, but he is always approachable and his love for photography is so clear.

I took this candid in his office last year:

Andreas Kaufmann, at Wetzlar, 2017

We were able to chat a little both about his business, and especially the unusual, and clever, strategic ‘L Mount Alliance’ with Sigma and Panasonic. And I took the opportunity to talk about my Cambodian project. He gave me contact details for his wife, who manages the gallery program, so let’s see.

Here’s a fun interview with Andreas.

………………..

Stepping back from the formal events, it was an absolute delight to spend time again with fellow students that I have got to know well – Danny, Gem, Ashley, Pierre and Gail – as well as meet new MA colleagues.

I genuinely believe I get as much inspiration (and kicks in the butt!) from these guys as any other part of this MA program. Long may that continue.

I’ll separately blog about the WIP reviews, with Jesse and Wendy.

……………….

Lange, Dorothea. 2018. Politics of Seeing. London/Paris: Barbican/Jeu De Paume.

Lynch, Janelle. 2018. Another Way of Looking at Love. Santa Fe: Radius Books.

Moriyama, Daido. 2016. Record 32: Kobe. Tokyo: Akio Nagasawa.

Nachtwey, James. 2017. Memoria. Roma: Contrasto.

Pinckers, Max. 2017. Red Ink. Ghent: Max Pinckers.

Pinckers, Max. 2017. Margins of Excess. Ghent: Max Pinckers.

Suzuki, Risaku. 2015. Stream of Consciousness. Niigata-ken: Edition Nord.

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