For Pierre de Fenoÿl photography was the art of receiving, unlike the arts of extractionthat are painting and literature. To achieve this state of reception, he practiced intensively the act of walking, asserting that it was “the only photography school”. In 1984, the Délégation Interministérielle à l’Aménagement du Territoire et à l’Attractivité Régionale (DATAR) launched a photographic mission inspired by the heliographic mission of 1851 to establish an inventory of the French landscape, and commissioned Pierre de Fenoÿl with Gabriele Basilico, Sophie Ristelhueber and Christian Milovanoff.
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