From July 12 to August 18, 2023, Bonnieux Town Hall presents a new exhibition by Denis Brihat.
A year-long journey, at low speed, with little or no money, third-class carriages as vehicles, temples as inns and pilgrims as companions: life, in short…
But what kind of journey was it? The simplest: a need for a tank of air. It was made real by a meeting with Louis Frédéric, a brilliant and intimidating Indianist who was just about to leave: “Why don’t you come with me? The proposal came at just the right moment. Denis Brihat accepted.
Between commissioned shots, the trip does what a trip should do: immerse the traveler in the doubt and complexity of the world – and above all, for our happiness today, offer him long moments when the only possible activity remains watching life go by.
It’s in these gaps that Denis Brihat takes what he calls his “amateur photos”. The viewer decides. It’s safe to assume that this is not the case. Because Denis Brihat knows what he’s doing with a Leica. The camera is always ready. And the man, always available to what’s happening. When an image beckons, the time to frame it is taken.
Denis Brihat never returned to India. Physically, that is. In the mind, India is something no one ever quite comes back from. When asked, he says he sometimes thinks of it nostalgically. But if you insist and try to find out what this nostalgia is about, he gently evades the question. What if this nostalgia was just another name for gratitude? That which he would dedicate to India for having wrung the very soul out of him, and in so doing, enabled him to glimpse what he had to do, while giving him the strength not to deviate?
Extract from a text by Frédéric Lecloux, written for the porte-folio India, 2020