Monday, December 7, 2009

Paris Photo - after thoughts

Although not having a fix on gallery sales figures there seemed little evidence that the World's Economic Woes had any impact on Paris Photo 2009. Attendance was up from 37,760 last year to 40,150 this, clearly evident from the long lines waiting to get tickets.
For me Paris Photo is about catching-up with friends, renewing contacts and making new ones, and of course photobooks, (Schaden alone had 30 book signings!) which doesn't leave a lot of time for close inspection of the work on the walls. Having said this, one couldn't help but notice the over-hyped, make it large, wow I'm an "artist" work that stood out largely due to its lack of authenticity and appalling lack of substance. For me it's hard to go past an Atget or a Kertesz and they were there too.

It was great to meet delightful people whose work I admire, photographers Rob Hornstra, Andrew Phelps, with his new book NOT NIIGATA, Jessica Backhaus, with her publisher Klaus Kehrer, and her galerist Robert Morat from Hamburg, at Paris Photo for the first time and with one of the better showings. Great to catch-up with John Gossage and swap my SMALL ANARCHIES for his A FEW YEARS WITH A TELECASTER, this a knock-out small but perfectly formed book in an edition of only 50 copies. Good to see Antoine d'Agata, in Paris briefly before going back to Cambodia. Peter Bialobrzeski with a new book CASE STUDY HOMES. Martin Parr with his book LUXURY. Gerry Badger as laconic as ever. The team at Peter Fraser over from London. Christoph Schifferli in from Zürich. And Jim and Millie Casper from Lens Culture and their out-there Paris Photo party.

Subversive Fabien Breuvart was true to form when on opening night he dumped a truck load of "found photographs" at the Carousel du Louvre entry. I managed to grab a few small gems as a bunch of us headed off for the usual opening night dinner.... You can take a look here:

If you are involved in photography Paris Photo offers something for everybody. For me it reminds me just how small the photo universe is and that everybody knows everybody. And if you go along with Woody Allen's dictum that "90% of life is showing up" making the arduous trip from Auckland to Paris just for Paris Photo is well worth the effort. Surprising things can happen and they did! More about that later.......

here are a couple of pictures that get across a little of the PP flavor.....

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