Monday, November 12, 2007

Risaku Suzuki - Mont Sainte Victoire

There's a book I got a year or two ago that I just flicked though when it came and then put it on the shelf. But recently I've pulled it a few times and spent some time with it.

Mont Sainte Victoire (published by Nazraeli) is by Japanese photographer Risaku Suzuki and takes an extended, almost meditative look at the subject of so many of Cézanne's paintings. It's a sort of meandering exploration of the place. The light is often harsh and direct, frequently washed out - very like my experience of this part of France. But as we take various paths up and around the mountain, it;s as if we accompany Suzuki on his wanderings.

"Featured in over fifty paintings by Cézanne, the Mont Sainte Victoire in Southern France is familiar even to those who have never been there. A century later, photographer Risaku Suzuki has followed in the great artist’s footsteps, using a quite different medium to depict the landscape on the way. In Suzuki’s photographs there is a feeling of movement and progression, giving the journey a pace that ought to be at odds with a series of static images. Sometimes it is as if the camera has legs and a mind of its own as it strays from the path to take in just one more inconspicuous part of the environment – and all the while the audience is beckoned to come along too. Using limited depth of field, Suzuki focuses the lens on a tree, a piece of rock, unexceptional segments of a remarkable climb upwards." (from Nazraeli)

The book is quite large format and seems to benefit from the viewer (this viewer anyway) spending some time with it. There aren't many pictures from the book online, but Photoeye has one of their extended bookteases on the book. There is also some of Suzuki's other work here (and one picture from this below)

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