In the spring of 1955, the celebrated French photographer Marc Riboud (born 1923) bought an old Land Rover from George Rodger (the British photojournalist) and set out for Calcutta. Reared on his father’s stories of traveling, Riboud was keen to strike out into unfamiliar terrain and see as much of the Middle East and Asia as possible. He first stopped in Istanbul, traveled through the rural landscapes of Cappadocia and Anatolia, and then headed across Persia, into Afghanistan, where he made extended forays into its tribal regions. In 1956, he arrived in India, the length and breadth of which he travelled for nearly a year, from Calcutta and Darjeeling in the East to Delhi and Rajasthan in the west, then south to Bombay, and north to Varanasi and into Nepal. It was from Nepal that he entered Communist China, as one of a handful of Westerners to obtain a visa at this time. Riboud ended his “Grand Tour” in Japan in 1958, eventually returning to France with thousands of photographs. This five-volume box set gathers together a sprawling visual journal from Riboud’s three-year odyssey, with images ranging from architectural photographs to portraits of hospitable locals.
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Vers l’Orient comes in the form of five books in a box. By themselves, the individual books are unassuming. Whoever thought of how to present these photographs resisted the temptation to produce yet another massive, glossy book with too many pictures. Instead, at 187 ˚ 200 mm (roughly 7 ˘ x 7 ◊ inches) the books are modestly sized, and with 64 pages they do not allow for an overly loose approach to editing (which has marred so many recent releases of old material from other photographers). The presentation thus thankfully enhances the work very nicely, strengthening a sense of preciousness that can be found in many of Riboud’s photographs.
One could argue about whether or not the books show the photographer’s evolution as an artist. The different countries and subject matters would make this a tricky endeavour. That said, my favourite book by far is the last one, Japan, which is filled with photographic gems, beautifully seen moments, many of which are touching portraits. (The Edtiors Conscientious Photography Magazine)
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Descripción Editions Xavier Barral, 2012. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P112915173842
Descripción Xavier Barral Editions, 2012. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Brand New. xavier barral edition. 320 pages. 8.50x7.75x2.25 inches. In Stock. Nº de ref. de la librería zk2915173842