Atget: Voir Paris (Musée Carnavalet)
Anne de Mondenard, Agnes Sire, Peter Galassi
Paris Musées & Atelier HCBn, 2020
The most famous photographer of old Paris, Eugène Atget (1857–1927) has roamed relentlessly the capital with his bellows photographic chamber loaded with glass plates from 1897 and for over thirty years, capturing the topography of a changing city. The result of a two-year research led by Anne de Mondenard and Agnès Sire, this publication gathers a selection of 146 photographs among the 9164 prints composing the Atget archive at the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. Conceived like a poetic and visual stroll, Voir Paris takes us into a time machine through street traders, stalls, the courtyards of buildings, well off interiors, alleyways, cafes, local rag dealers, urban gardens, the banks of the Seine…
Preferring the early morning light, his absolute mastery of framing, his careful attention to the lines of buildings, to unexpected details and abandoned items develop a unique world. In Atget’s work, photography is reduced to the sum of its parts without any baroque frills. Through his frontal views and his vision combining real and imaginary, Atget invented modern photography.
The photographs, printed with a four-color process, retain their original edges in the book. In this way, they show all the materiality and tone of the original prints which is unprecedented in the publication of Atget’s work. IN FRENCH!