Leafing through a high and heavy volume of Magnum, I hit the review that the renowned photographer Martin Parr gave his colleague Gilles Peress (France, 1946). Both professional photographers, connoisseurs of film and light, Parr is the photojournalist of the grotesques trends of the dominant culture in the society; instead of Peress that is a war photojournalist.
Here's the comment from Martin Parr to Gilles Peress:
<< Gilles Peress gave two main contributions to the brief and turbulent history of the representation of conflict. First, has tried to understand what problems meets a photographer who is witness of the events. This happened in the book Telex Iran, published in 1984. The term "telex" refers to the means by which Peress communicated with the Paris offices of Magnum, when followed for five intense weeks, the hostage crisis in Iran.
The problems related to being a witness, the choice to accept or decline appointments as they are or find the correct captions, are also the subject of the text that makes its way through a photo and the next. Apparently it does not seem a very radical stance but do not forget that the photojournalist should be the one who tells the truth. Confessing the subjective character of his work, Peress focuses on an important issue.
The second contribution comes from the way in which Peress frames his subjects.We always feel we are faced with a fragment, with people and things that are partly inside and partly outside the image. One gets the feeling that what we see is a small part of a larger and more chaotic scene. Since Peress often worked on war fronts, this is probably true in most cases. However, few photographers were able to evoke a feeling of energy and confusion with his own eloquence. His visual language draws its origins even for political reasons. Peress has tried to move away from the traditional style, common to many reporters, which tends to soften, with the symmetry and sharpness of the shot, even the stronger despair.
While depicting situations extremely confused, these images have a great appeal.
Try to get seated and to decipher these complex, exciting photographs. I have never been in a country at war and, honestly, I hope I never have to have this experience. Yet I have the impression that the photographs by Gilles Peress made me understand clearly what it means >>.
|Photo by Gilles Peress - In 1979, when Islamic fundamentalists occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took fifty-two persons as hostage, Peress leaves for Iran. He spent five weeks in the heart of the revolution. His famous book, Telex Iran, in the name of Revolution, describes the fragile relationship that develops between American culture and that of Iran during the hostage crisis.|
|Photo by Gilles Peress|
|Photo by Gilles Peress|