Alécio de Andrade, the Brazilian photographer, was a great creator and maker of images. He was also a poet, a pianist, and, until his death in 2003, a resident of Paris for 39 years. During those years he spent much of his time wandering through different collections at the Louvre Museum – le Musée du Louvre – and documenting what he saw with the lenses of his camera.
Among the thousands of photographs from his museum peregrinations is this one, taken in 1970. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; if you believe that, then this one has to be worth at least a million.
Au Musée du Louvre, 1970
Fucking amazing photograph.
It makes me think too, by random synaptic association of several of the neurons that seem to floating around inside my cerebellum at the oddest of hours, of the words of Hakim Bey, from his essay on T.A.Z., the ‘Temporary Autonomous Zone’, a place which, and there’s really no other way to put it, temporarily eludes and avoids formal or hierarchical structures of control. Whew. That’s a mouthful. But Bey’s words are more to the point –
“Provided we can escape from the museums we carry around inside us, provided we can stop selling ourselves tickets to the galleries in our own skulls, we can begin to contemplate an art which re-creates the goal of the sorcerer: changing the structure of reality by the manipulation of living symbols … Art tells gorgeous lies that come true.”
Museums we carry around inside of us.
Galleries in our own skulls.
Gorgeous lies that come true.
I – or at least one of the people inside my head who passes sometimes for “I” (or would that be ‘me’?) – is able to put a name to a few of the things I think and feel (my reactions) when I look at this remarkable photograph.
Others, I’m still in the process of discovering.
But to do that….I have to keep on looking.
What about you?