7 in 1:
Announcement: I have to try an experiment this week. I am in the middle of preparing a set of 4, 20 foot high, 3 sided, triangular columns for the EXPO 2015 World’s Fair in Milan, which opens in 5 weeks. I have been given a whole Pavilion to install these works in. The theme of the Fair is “Feed the Planet,” and my Pavilion is dedicated to Cereals and Grains which translates, to me, as ‘Bread.’ So I have made 75 portraits of bread from all over Italy. These will be stacked on Totem-like columns. So I must, starting this week, post a weeks worth of my one-a-day images all at once, while I dedicate myself to finishing the work on the pavilion.
The week that I made these images took me to Lourmarin, near Bonnieux, and Bonnieux itself, then Paris, and after Paris on the TGV to Deauville, where Maggie and I were asked to do a commission about the town in Summer, but once we saw the place, we decided that it wasn’t something we were interested in doing, so back to Bonnieux we went.
I had the sense that the dogs in Lourmain (3/22) were ‘getting acquainted,’ and that these rituals are an interesting thing to consider, maybe even as a subject for a body of work. We see this in human beings all the time in the dance we do, the gestures we make, the knowing looks sent back and forth between people are all part of our subtle communication. Sometimes themes and ideas spring from surprising sources.
The power of the tree in the landscape at this time of year is rich with suggestive force. The small shocks I get from these relationships of trees to the whole space never cease to please me and open me up to considering what makes a landscape photograph. Even with such minimal conditions as these something comes into play. That fountain-like tree in the distance and the groin of the tree in the foreground spoke to me of needs and surges that all nature’s things can express.
In Paris (3/25-26) it’s always the parks and boulevards for me, where life is at its most Parisian and something always comes along, both the expected and unexpected. And lovers have arguments as well as making up, and an argument in public is an observable intimacy of the unguarded moment. Then, on a visit to the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, to see a great show of Howard Greenberg’s private collection, I found myself looking out the Foundation’s window at a scene that the master himself might have looked at, although this image certainly isn’t worthy of him. Nonetheless, the activity in the schoolyard below changed every few seconds and was fun to look at when seen with the running figure on the wall above the window. Later, while passing a shop, I saw this amazing 4 fingered glove. Eerie and mysterious, as well as a strong image all on its own, I asked the owner if I could buy it for my still life collection of objects with that kind of power. No deal she said! So, it’s just a memory now.
(3/27) At 120 miles an hour on the TGV, things come and go in the blink of a second, yet every once in a while something lovely is revealed, plucked by speed itself. Here! and Gone! And all I have is the camera’s 1000th of a second to save it from oblivion.
3/27 From the TGV
(3/28) The beach at Deauville, while wide and clean, had behind it a town that was developed by rich Parisian merchants early in the 20th century. It was a holiday town for the well to do who wanted to get out of Paris, and as such it had no history, and it shows it now. After 30 minutes of walking around Maggie and I were dispirited and longing to get back on the train and head for Bonnieux. Yet the red, white and blue of the beach on that second day of spring, bitter as it was, did bring a moment of longing for those sweet summer days by the sea.