Photographs by Jacques Borgetto, Françoise Nuñez (photos from Galerie Camera Obscura), Bernard Plossu (photos from the collections of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and Sophie Zénon.
In travel, as in an exhibition, it is important to choose one’s companions, according to personal affinities and opportunities for dialogue and mutual enrichment. For this exhibition, the artists have played the game with both generosity and curiosity. Pictures have been brought out of their boxes and subjected to new readings, previously diverging itineraries have converged, and the journey has become a truly magnificent one.
The exhibition took shape like a collection of short stories. Though there was no unity of time or place, there was a strong sense of poetry. The result is a set of stories that are shrouded in solitude, melancholy, and memory, and underscored by a fascination for the great outdoors, the thrill of meeting people, and the pleasure of sharing discoveries.
All the photographers brought together here understand travel in the old-fashioned sense. They have both time ahead of them and space around them, and the ability to knit together the imaginary and the real, far from the madding crowd of tourists. Their points of reference differ, as do their destinations and motivations, and yet a common thread leads from one series to another.
Jacques Borgetto has been taking photographs of Latin America for many years, using a strong and precise personal language and an approach that is far removed from the usual clichés.
Sophie Zénon, an avid traveller, has crossed Asia many times, especially Mongolia, Eastern Siberia and Cambodia. Here, her pictures of Asia are shown alongside more familiar images of Normandy or Italy. In all these photographs, there is an apparent calm and an all-pervading grace, a subtle language in which the panoramic format follows the movements of her journey, like a travelling shot in a film.
With Francoise Nuñez and Bernard Plossu, the journey is a sentimental one. The place is but a pretext and a backdrop; the real destination is Other people. From Mexico in 1981 to Italy, from Greece to Andaluc'a, their vision, from the same starting point, becomes stereoscopic, and photography is as much the reflection of their inner vision as it is of any reality.
A selection of videos from the MEP collection will accompany these photographic journeys: Alice Anderson, “Journey to the Invisible Cities”
and “Star Catcher”; A.P. Komen & Karen Murphy, “Love Bites”; Mihai Grecu, “Coagulate”; André Parente, “Paysage no. 1”.