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Principio Erat.

Photographs by Bill Henson. Text by Pierre Bessard.
Éditions Bessard, Paris, France, 2019. In English & French. Unpaged, numerous color illustrations.

Publisher's Description

This exquisite new Bill Henson publication from Éditions Bessard features two trade editions of 500 copies each, and an Artist's Edition of 40 copies—all with a signed C-print.


The trade editions feature two different covers and include a signed C-print (see below). 

HB-A — 500 copies with a signed C-print, standing arms above head, (approximately 6×4 inches)




500 copies with a signed C-print, reclining girl, (approximately 6×4 inches)

All remaining copies of the HB-B edition, with the reclining girl print, have slight imperfections.




LTD-A — Artist's Edition of 40 copies with a signed C-print (8¼×11½ inches), contained with the book in a custom clamshell box.


From the essay "Noli me tangere," by Pierre Bessard:

The creature gazes into the openness with all its eyes.
So begins "Duino’s Eighth Elegy," by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

The openness is a space inhabited by elves, innocents, saints.
Bill Henson perceives this infinity, this openness, in the terrible beauty of his models, inscribed on a black background, as though the shadows could sing.

His sculptures of flesh are sources of youth, photographs designed to stand the test of time, like Wagner’s operatic masterpieces.
They take with them a romantic breath that is surpasses a call to the sublime, a dazzling solitude in a world turned gruesome.
Among the ruins of the past and the eternal temples of nature come diaphanous beings, pure dreams, inaccessible ghosts.
From afar, they are untouchable.
They are silent, sacred, intimidating, as if death did not frighten them.
Descendants of the tradition of classical statuary, they have no age. Sovereign and savage, they are deities with rare presence.
Kneaded from clay, they take to flight, far from human suffering.
The night full of desire is their shelter, an invisible glass shield surrounding them.
Blessed are you born of Orpheus, the severe judge.
Glory to the creative breath, glory to the travelling stars, glory to the new beings, glory to the uninitiated.
Supported by the old parapets, we suffer from being so heavy, while you are wine, vine, arrows and messengers in one.
Oh, pure tension!
Oh, joy that abounds!
Oh, music of the globe!
But if I cry out, who in the orders of the angels will listen to me?

Cat# ZH936H Hardbound [B] $120.00
In Stock! Usually ships in 1 business day.

Cat# ZH936L Limited Edition [A] $1,500.00
In Stock! Usually ships in 1 business day.


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