2.16.2009

RF


I just saw the Robert Frank exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, "The Americans". I felt deeply moved by a lot of the images I saw there; I was surprised since it's always been a little difficult for me to connect with b&w street photography. Most of the time I think it is not enough to shoot a weird face in the street with huge buildings in the background. But these were so modern... he photographed mystery instead of just loneliness and misery, atmospheres instead of just faces; he photographed desire and passion for his own country -a country that already looked at the time like 50 different countries. I thought he criticized that country violently but with honesty, from his own human experience of life and the world. Maybe I just loved the intention he put in each shot; he is traveling, and it's obvious that he is part of the adventure he wants / needs to tell. He brings experience to expression, and is even able to bring it alive to others.
It was therefore weird and intense to look at the US through his eyes. For some reason I felt attached to the land, and I admitted it. I thought about my great-grandfather, who went to NYC from France at a young age, to become whatever, to travel, and who left the boat that had just crossed the atlantic wearing all the clothes he had. Funny enough, I feel like I also learnt how to possess less there, and to try more.

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