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L’image déhiscente. Gautier et la photographie de montagne des frères Bisson

Abstract : Although his work was almost entirely focused on the model of painting and literary description, Théophile Gautier heard the call of photography quite clearly. This can be seen from his commentary on the mountain photographs of the brothers Bisson, which he published in the early 1860s Le Moniteur universel and then republished in 1869 in Les vacances du lundias an introduction to his accounts of his travels in the French and Swiss Alps. In this text, Gautier describes the novelty, power, and even violence of images that usher in a new kind of vision and a new conception of humanity’s relationship with the world. Through photo­graphy, we henceforth understand that the fissures and rents, chaos, and exteriority of material things, which these images display with a concreteness and precision that had never before been achieved, represent the ineluctable horizon of our existence. Far from the suggestive ‘softness’ and spirituality of paintings and descriptions, photography – and mountain photography in particular – turns disjunction and temporal and spatial caesuras into the contradictory and negative modes of all signification.
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Pierre-Henry Frangne. L’image déhiscente. Gautier et la photographie de montagne des frères Bisson. Etudes photographiques, Société française de photographie, 2010, mai (25). ⟨hal-01634587⟩

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