Do you know Arles? And the Mistral? Not Frédéric Mistral, who stands waiting for the train in Place du Forum, but the northerly wind. Mistral + photofolio review + Cour de l’Archevêché is an experience worth trying.
Reviewing portfolios is an endurance sport. Imagine the sweltering sunshine and little parasols kindly arranged to prevent fatal sunstroke. It’s charming, convivial, colourful. Everyone waits, well behaved: the photographer for his/her turn; the reviewer for his/her photographer. A vague lethargy sets in, the mood is smooth and snug: the duos review attentively, strike up a rapport, talk animatedly about the work.
Then the Mistral comes and sets the idyllic picture straight. The parasol flaps dangerously; you pretend nothing is amiss. Clouds of dust tickle your nostrils; you stay calm. Then things get serious: the dust’s in your eyes. The American photographer who was showing you her prints seems truly moved that her gaudily-coloured trucks have moved you to tears; you hold them in front of you, arms stretched out, to stop falling tears inflicting terminal damage on the inkjet printouts. You keep calm. You wonder if that black stain on the frame is your eyeliner. Apparently it’s a fly. The photographer, worried about the lurching parasol, grabs it in a slick choreographic move, while you both try to stop the photos flying away and put them back in their folder. The lady is still holding the parasol, which starts taking off. The next photographer in the queue, a tall and helpful young man, manages to fold it shut. Fortunately he is last on the list (which has flown away) and shows you a rough book design. In hardback. You grope your way towards the nearest pharmacy.
Next time, how about the Cryptoporticoes?
Archives of the Eye of Photography – Anne Biroleau, 2011