I have started the year back in time. First there was the gift of For a Language to Come, Nakahira Takuma 's first collection of works; originally published in Japan in 1970, it has just been republished by Osiris/Tokyo. This took me right back to discovering photography, with a certain nostalgia for the invention of a new photographic, yes, language, full of the blacks and grainy whites Robert Frank and William Klein had become the masters
Then, there was my visit to Le Pavillion Populaire in Montpellier. Currently co-directed by Gilles Mora, a figurehead in the establishment of Photography becoming a major actor in France cultural development led by the then socialist government ( Gilles Mora was editor-in-chief of the beautiful quarterly "Les Cahiers de la Photographie" and artistic director of Les rencontres d'Arles between 1999 and 2001), Le Pavillion Populaire is currently showing a retrospective of Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972). Like a lot of photography nerds, I have long been under the tragicomic spell of R.E. Meatyard; through him I learned that photography could be a kind of film-still and be ambiguous and explicit at the same time. Seeing this show was a pure moment of joy, I was virtually alone in this part of the gallery, and I was definitely the only one laughing at the tiny captions, which were not, unforgivably, translated for the french public. If you are in Montpellier, keep an eye on this space as I believe Gilles Mora is capable of miracle.
To keep on with the past but on an entirely different level, after 2 and a half years of respite, enjoying the luxury of being an outsider and a recluse, I am utterly broke and that means only one thing for me: back on the shop-floor, doing curtseys to the rat race. Some people never learn.
p.s: I'm still scanning! the picture above was shot in Berlin in 1991 with a Nikon FE (?) on Ilford FP4 or Kodak T-Max (?)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, from The familly album of Lucybelle Crater 1969-1972. © The estate of R.E. Meatyard courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery