The Risk of an Early Spring.
Photographs by Bertrand Fleuret. Edited by Niek van Lonkhuijzen. Essay by Lorenzo Rita.
Artimo, Amsterdam, 2005. 200 pp., numerous illustrations throughout, 7¾x10".
Over some really bad tea the other night, a riveting discussion was held about the attempt to collapse the subject/object barrier found in the English language (and consequently in most literature). Many contemporary poets take a stab at a radical re-use of words and syntax, a trend that led the discussion to the issue of ‘experience’ and ‘participation’ as it relates to subject matter. Modern culture is so purely individualistic that we have the luxury of examining our own linguistic structures. During the conversation, I was reminded of Fleuret's book, particularly in relation to the idea of ‘experience’ and viewing photographs. The images in The Risk of an Early Spring clearly don’t offer the viewer an objective window on the world; from the minute you open the book, you are the eyes and mind of Fleuret, a participant in a tightly edited stream-of-consciousness exercise. Indeed, at times, it feels as though the viewer collapses into both Fleuret’s experience the his surroundings. Much of this experience seems to take place in modern-day Southern California, replete with airport visits, freeways, oleander-lined drives, and the distinct architecture of the West Coast modernists. This particular visual stream wends it’s way through the bright sun and deep shadows of a life on-the-go, pausing only to soak up the myriad details that speak to film at any particular moment. - Darius Himes
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