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“Photography makes stories” by Martine Ravache


A graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, Martine Ravache is an art historian, curator, and a photography specialist, who has worked as a researcher for the press and publishing for over twenty years. She publishes “Paranoid Looks” at Canoë editions.

It’s a rare book. What I call a “real book”. A book whose writing and editing comes from the heart, with the passion of photography. “Paranoid looks” … What a funny title!

“The word paranoia is not here to be understood in the pathological sense but rather in its vulgar meaning, in the manner of the filmmaker Robert Bresson when he questioned, in his” Notes on the cinematograph “*, about the name of the author of this famous quote: “One glance triggers a passion, an assassination, a war. “. A glance can actually be worth loving possession or police aggression. To watch is not only to see. We must distinguish the eye from the look. “Writes Martine Ravache in her introduction. For my part, I prefer the subtitle “Photography makes stories”.

Stories, Martine Ravache has written seven of them in the form of short stories about photographers or photographs. From Gisèle Freund’s astonishing birthday to Markus Hansen’s identity portraits, from Julia Margaret Cameron’s profile to Robert Doisneau’s Kiss in front of the town hall, from Laurence and Dominique Sudre nude, to Pierre Overney’s corpse, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s black and white and / or color lunch to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s one-eyed woman, Martine Ravache reveals her emotions, her intimate and cultivated visions of well-known works, sometimes too well known to be understood. With her, the gaze is a brush that illuminates our interior in front of the image. Modest but uncompromising, she analyzes the image and makes us discover our own vision.

More than three years ago, Martine Ravache asked me to find the forgotten author of another forgotten photographer, Pierre Overney. What did she want from comrade Christophe Schimmel? She explained to me but I did not understand. With his book, I rediscovered one of the terrible images of the death of a young militant at the Emile Zola gate of the Renault factories. I saw only a simple disturbing  cliche, a police statement. Thanks to the short story where she puts it in parallel with a photo of the Sudre couple posing naked without revealing anything, Martine Ravache explains with two images a whole era, that of the youth of the babyboomers.

A book, beautifully edited by Mireille Calle-Gruber to enjoy this autumn by the fire.

Michel Puech



Paranoid looks, “Photography makes stories” by Martine Ravache

Preface by Mireille Calle-Gruber – Canoe edition 320 pages 24 €



Meeting / Signature

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 18h to 20h

With Martine Ravache and Markus Hansen

Miranda Gallery

21 rue du Chateau d’Eau

75010 Paris



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