Exhibition at the Theater of the photography and the picture, 27th Dubouchage boulevard, 06000 Nice, from the 9th october 2015 to the 24th january 2016, open every day from 10am to 18pm except monday. Featuring over 120 black and white photographs, this exhibition was created in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the Fondation Henri Cartier - Bresson.
Henri Cartier - Bresson follows the footsteps of the photography great masters but he also witnesses about the greats events of the 20th century. Born the 22nd august 1908 in Chanteloup (french department of the Seine - et - Marne) he studies at the Condorcet highschool during his childhood. In 1926 he integrate the Andre Lhote's studio and meets the surrealists but he discovers a Martin Munkocsi picture's in the "Art et Métiers" review and decides to become photographer. This photographer of the "decisive moment" goes towards the streets, the fields and the cities with his Leica for shooting. In 1947 he creates the Magnum agency with Robert Capa, David "Chim" Seymour, William Vandivert and Georges Rodger. Their purpose is to stay independants but not alone. Theve Henre Cartier - Bresson pictures are caracterized by their precision and their graphism who translate the picaturesque and mainingful aspects of the life.
Henri Cartier - Bresson thinks that shooting isn't something neutral. Initiated in drawing by Lhote he chooses the photography because he consideres shooting as an accelerated drawing. He just looks for "the decisive moment" who is a mix between suspens, tehcnics and harmony. He develops his sens of shooting towards his meetings with the surrealist and the watching of silent films. He puts in the same line the head, the eyes and the body for communicating some emotions. The Henri Cartier - Breson pictures are always made with black and white colors for giving them an untemporal aspect. This untemporal aspect gives an intellectual pleasure.
The photographer has is own camera like the painter has is own brush but they don't use them as the same way. The photographer is attracted by the moment, the spontaneous an the intuition. It onvolves that he must be invisible and concentrated. During a second he asks himself a lot of questions : what's happen ? what's this ? why ? After he must act with the same leitmotiv : shooting rightly, quickly and go away fastly. Henri Cartier - Bresson rejects the reframing possibility of the pictures. For him reframing a picture distroys what makes photography an artistic performance.
Henri Cartier - Bresson witnesses with his camera about the history of the 20th century. He begins his travel with Africa (Ivory Coast) during the 1930's and shoots after the tragedy of the 1929 economic crisis. This pictures show us his humanitarian engagement (fight against the slavery, ...). He supports the spanish republicans during the spanish civil war against the fascists. Enjailed in 1940 he succeeds to escape in 1943 and he will realize a documentary in 1945 on the repatriation of the war prisoners and the deportees. When he founded the Magnum agency he wants to conciliate his sensibility, his political engagement with the work of an agency.
He orientates his work in three directions. Firstly he shoots the artists and the writers but he doesn't trust the artists because he thinks that they aren't spontaneous. Secondly he shoots the historical and political events and the historical personalities (Gandhi, Mao, Sartre, Camus,...) but also the countries that grows up (Mexico, Cuba,...). With his pictures he fights against the cliches. Thirdly he makes a critics of the modern world towards a work for IBM entitled "The man and the machine" and two documentaries directed for CBS in 1970 ("California impressions", "Southern exposures"). The modern world is dominated by the machine and the man isn't welcome in such world. At the end of his career he decides to found the Henri Cartier - Bresson Foundation dedicated to his own art work but who exhibes also some other young photographers.