For The Eye of Photography, photographic books are as important as an exhibition or a portfolio. They make the history and the actuality of the medium. Our correspondent Zoé Isle de Beauchaine has a tirelessly curious and informed look at the latest releases.
With Our Daily Bread, September Books and Lalie Thébault Maviel publish a singular encyclopedia devoted to the history of bread, its presence in our lives and its economic, social, political and aesthetic evolutions.
From the kneading of dough in ancient Egypt to shots of influential women carrying a baguette, from a clip of Chaplin baking his bread in “Dough and Dynamite” to a surrealist sculpture by Dalí: Our Daily Bread contains nearly 800 images collected over the past several years by Lalie Thébault Maviel, a photographer whose practice, centered on images and publishing, is as much related to anthropology as to archaeology and is interested in the issues of subsistence.
Organized by thematic plates, the book, realized in collaboration with the graphic designer Ninon Chaboud, tells a “incomplete and subjective” history of bread through documentary, advertising or technical photographs, newspaper clippings or images from our popular culture, films, visual arts, internet, fashion…
No text disturbs this visual accumulation, except for a bookmark scattered with quotations on bread which, in the eyes of Lalie Thébault Maviel, function “as reading impulses offering possible visions of bread, without locking the book into a single reading direction.
Starting with wheat and the preparation of leaven, the book culminates in an exploration of the symbolic power of bread. From the flour war in 1775 to the soaring price of wheat since the invasion of Ukraine, bread is an indicator of economic, political and social stability. The slogans on the boards containing propaganda posters bear witness to this: “expensive bread: war policy”; “save bread: cut it into thin slices” or “less wheat = less bread: what are you waiting for to react”.
Between anthropological analysis and social criticism, Our Daily Bread is an unusual journey through the history of bread and our societies.
Lalie Thébault Maviel – Our daily bread
178 pp.210 x 297 mm
Graphic Design: Ninon Chaboud
Isbn : 978-2-490572-09-0
Available in bookstores and online