Camera Obscura Gallery
What magic potion made Didier Brousse bring together photographers of such importance as Giacomo Bunelli, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt, Pentti Sammallahti, Hiroshi Watanabe, Masao Yamamoto and Sarah Moon and the drawings of Ilona Suschitzky?
We could certainly find a way to the solution or better yet to the answer in The Fables, the title of the exhibition that will be presented on the walls of the Camera Obscura Gallery from February 26th through March 26th, 2011. However, this magic link could not have been found simply by reading the text that John Berger wrote as a preface for Pentti Sammallahti’s portfolio “Russian way”, taking inspiration from the images of this Finnish photographer’s dogs. “Our customary visible order is not the only one: it co-exists with other orders”.
“Stories of fairies, sprites, ogres were a human attempt to come to terms with this co-existence… Children feel it intuitively, because they have the habit of hiding behind things… There they discover the interstices between different sets of the visible.”
The interstices that probably communicate these different orders “inhabited like the ‘fables’ by animals that resemble humans”.
Hiroshi Watanabe photographed portraits of monkeys, using the Japanese theater tradition as inspiration. They portray “characters, like those found in the Fables by La Fontaine, or the prints by Grandville”. With a handful of dried sardines in his pocket, Pentti Sammallahti attracts a few stray dogs in order to turn them into actors, thus incorporating them into these wide Russian panoramic landscapes. And according to Masao Yamamoto, all of these birds, monkeys, butterflies and dogs mean as much as a haiku. They succeed in creating the amazement of an instant, half way to a dream.
In regards to Sarah Moon, she has woven her work with Ilona Suschintzky’s drawings, in a series called “Ailleurs” (Elsewhere), that will be the subject of an upcoming exhibition: Visual stories in which the animals will play a most prominent role.
Correspondent for the Institut de France
Until March 25
Photographs by Giacomo Brunelli, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt Pentti Sammallahti, Hiroshi Watanabe, Masao Yamamoto; “Ailleurs” : photography by Sarah Moon + drawings by Ilona Suschitzky
Galerie Camera Obscura
268 Bd Raspail