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Piercing Time (sb)
Travel Paris in time from the Opéra to Place d'Italie. The photographs of Charles Marville (1860s-70s) are juxtaposed with images of the same locations by Eugène Atget (1890s-1920s) and the author (2009-2012).
Published by Intellect Books. The soft cover edition.
Piercing Time examines the role of photography in documenting urban change by juxtaposing contemporary “rephotographs” taken by the author with images of nineteenth century Paris taken by Charles Marville, who worked under Georges Haussmann, and corresponding photographs by Eugène Atget taken in the early twentieth century. Revisiting the sites of Marville’s photographs with a black cloth, tripod, and view camera, Peter Sramek creates here a visually stunning book that investigates how urban development, the use of photography as a documentary medium, and the representation of urban space reflect attitudes towards the city. The essays that run alongside these fascinating images discuss subjects such as the aesthetics of ruins and the documentation of the demolitions that preceded Haussmannization, as well as the different approaches taken by Marville and Atget to their work. The book also includes contemporary interviews with local Parisians, extracts from Haussmann’s own writing, and historical maps that allow for an intriguing look at the shifting city plan.
A special limited edition created by the artist is still available, with a slipcase and original fibre print.
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