Genius of Photography & Rephotographing

It’s tough not to get excited about a television show that begins like this:

“This is Meudon, a quiet Paris suburb, apart from the rumble of the occasional high speed train. In 1928, at roughly the mid-point between the invention of photography and our own digital age, Andre Kertesz, one of the great photographers of the 20th century, came here, and took some pictures. The photographs he took that day are as unremarkable as Meudon itself. But something about the place must have caught his eye, because a few days later, he came back, and turned the ordinary into something extraordinary.”

genius

genius2

For those of you who don’t live in the UK, a 2point8 tipster points us to the torrents. Thank you, BBC4. (Wish I lived in a country where the government subsidized programs like this.)

It’d be interesting to do a comprehensive post about projects & books that address rephotographing. I’m not sure about the artistic merits of it all (it ain’t original!), but I get a real kick out of looking at the details of how things change — like with these Shore echoes from El Paso, last year:

14 thoughts on “Genius of Photography & Rephotographing”

  1. There was a guy that went to the locations of all the Atget photos and rephotographed them. I can’t remeber the website on which I found it, but it was a good one. He may have even released a book of the project.

  2. Yeah, there is a cottage industry trying to reproduce one of Ansel Adams photos of a full moon and rock face in Yosemite. To make a long story short: art ain’t that easy.

  3. “Thank you, BBC4. (Wish I lived in a country where the government subsidized programs like this.)”

    Well it’s not all great.

    A lot of people (like me!) pay the £100 licence fee that funds the BBC but can’t get BBC4.

    Drat.

  4. (Southern Exposures) Walker Evans & Christenberry sort of bored me. I’ve seen too many places change over a matter of weeks to be surprised by what 25 or even 50 years can do to a place. If the “New” version of a location would be superior to the old one, I might not feel that way, but today’s architecture never fails to disappoint me…

  5. I was inspired after seeing the Rauschenberg photos of Atget’s Paris to try something similar when I was in Dresden, photographing parts of the city now and comparing them to old paintings and photos from before the war – until I went to a book shop (in Dresden) and found a handful of books by people who had already had this idea.

    On another rephotographing note – http://www.intwinpeaks.com/ – contains a plethora of images from Twin Peaks taken ‘then’ and now.

  6. …wow. “I get a real kick out of looking at the details of how things change”. Too right, this picture of modern Meudon is a treat. Thanks.

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