Since I am quite suspicious (never under a ladder!), I always carry a good luck charm with me in my left pocket. It is a bracelet I bought in the southern Mexican city of Coyoacán while visiting Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1999. I am not afraid of meeting the wrong people – professional gatherings are ideal for people to be on their best behavior, save for the rare Dadaist behavior –I fear bad vibes. When I stepped out of the Champs-Elysées Clemenceau metro stop, like a light at dawn, there was a bouquet of flowers strewn on the sidewalk. A sign? I looked up and saw the statue of General de Gaulle. Oh oh oh, I sighed, the flowers were placed there in his memory, as on every November 9, which was also, coincidentally, opening day for the 15th edition of Paris Photo.
Direction: The Grand Palais, the universal monument. Like in the greatest hotels, there were several different entries (VIP, press, public with tickets, public without tickets). The security guards were terse. No pass, no entry: I made it in. Making my way into the Nef, I had the nearly indescribable feeling of perfect beauty, on a human level, while the Nef of the Grand Palais is big enough to host the Roland Garros tennis tournament: photography in November, tennis in May, that would be classy, maybe even sensible. Gallery owners showing how thrilled they were to have left the Louvre basement that I loved, and where, as a child, I had run into Belphégor, disguised as Juliette Greco.
You can read Brigitte Ollier’s complete text in the French version of La Lettre.