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Archipel Butor : Michel Butor : Photography is a window


The Archipel Butor presents its exhibition Michel Butor « Photography is a window ».

The exhibition will take place at the three sites of the Archipel Butor:

  • Au Manoir des livres with more than 250 works on display;
  • At the Michel Butor house with a series of photographs produced in collaboration with Marie-Jo Butor;
  • At the Michel Butor library with photographs by Philippe Colignon accompanied by texts by Michel Butor from the series « Humus inscribed ».

From the rich collections of the Manoir des livres, the exhibition will show the relationships between Michel Butor and photography through three main axes:

Michel Butor photographer (1951-1961)

Michel Butor photographed (1958-2016)

Michel Butor and the photographers (more than 150 artist’s books and current edition books created between 1980 and 2016 will be exhibited)


Between 1951 and 1961, Michel Butor made nearly 2,000 black and white photographs with a Semflex camera, a French version of the Rolleiflex.

His desire to photograph arose after a long stay in Egypt. He began by photographing a study of testimonies of Bonaparte’s return from Egypt in Paris, and learned the basics from one of his sculptor brother-in-law. Michel Butor does not reframe his photographs, he seeks less to fix “memories invent an image”: the viewfinder becomes for him “an instrument of exploration which makes him see what he would not have seen without him.” Very quickly I had a viewfinder in my head, ”he says.

It was when he stopped photographing in the 1960s that he began to write about photography, or for, photographers.


Michel Butor : “La photographie est une fenêtre”

From June 26 to November 27, 2021

Due to health restrictions still in force, the official opening is scheduled for Saturday September 11 at 11 a.m. at the Manoir des livres.

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