So it is my first trip outside Paris for months, to Nice, for two short meetings. Well, we visited sumptuous palaces. I spent a day in a meeting in Nice Observatory with spectacular views over the bay of Nice. But this is my photograph for that week. I kind of like the sinister pointless nature of that notice. Ball games forbidden. Who’d have thought?
At a certain academic institution, not far from the IAP, the signs are contradictory.
It’s often been remarked that photography is easy — you just point the camera and click the shutter. But yes, just where do you point the camera and when do you press the shutter? Looking through the viewfinder of a camera like a Leica is wonderful because it makes this choice obvious — provided you have chosen the right focal length for your viewfinder, looking through the eyepiece you see a floating grey square with space around the edges, reminding you that over there, that is where the photograph is. Or it could be a little to the left. It is up to you.
So at Montsouris last autumn they re-installed a series of panels describing the history of the park and Parisian parks in general during the second Empire. There are interesting stories. The engineer responsible for the artificial lake in Montsouris committed suicide because on the day of the park’s opening a technical error mean that all the water had drained from the lake! And for the display, why have photographs? We are after all standing in Montsouris itself. They simply put a square frame neatly enclosing the landscape. This is where the photograph is.
The 31st of October: a minor (expected) outpatient operation and I’m confined to the house once again. In the days that follow I don’t go further than a few hundred metres from here. Of course there is a long photographic tradition of such confinements. Kertesz photographed constantly from his window. And poor Josef Sudek spent decades photographing his house and garden.
From our front window here? Avenue Rene Coty, and in these days, fading winter light. On the street, below our window, there is a bench where all kinds of Beckettian shows can take place. But on this particular week, I’d perhaps already had enough of waiting. Slanting shadows were enough for me.