Marc Feustel – a conversation

Marc Feustel, copyright Douglas Stockdale 2010

This is the second in my series of my conversations with PhotoBook enthusiast during my lay-over in Paris. Marc Feustel is a very interesting guy and a delightful conversationist, and I highly recommend his thoughtful reviews of photobooks that are available on his blog, Eye Curious.

Although my intent was to obtain his insight on Kiyoshi Suzuki’s Soul and Soul, a photobook review that I having a little trouble finishing, our discussion went far and wide about the Japanese photographers who preceded the Provoke period as well as what is happening with photobooks in Japan since. It is Feustel’s interest and speciality in Japanese photographers and their photobooks which really ignited my interest in having this meeting. And Marc did provide just the insights that I had hoped to hear, as he advised to look for the symbolic power of the detail and notice the focus on texture and the use of space.

That then led to discussions about the influence of William Kline and Robert Frank on Japanese photographers and subsequently to the early work of Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama and Takuma Nakahira. Marc’s lament was the lack of distribution of Japanese photobooks outside of Japan. At best, both in Europe and US, we only see the tip of the iceberg of the large diversity and volume of photobooks that are published each year in Japan.

Marc and I had hoped to visit and go exploring in a couple of photo galleries and book stores that were on this side of the Seine. Regretfully, all were closed for the day (Sunday), but at least I now have some coordinates to find them on my next visit.

Here is a short list of photobook places in Paris for your future consideration (a couple from my conversation with Mathieu Lambert yesterday); Galerie Yvon Lambert, LazyDog, le Monte en L’Ain (entrance photo, below), Plac ‘Art Photo, and Comptoir de l ‘Image. Comptoir is in the general area that Eugene Aget photographed and Marc stated that some of the same ornaments that Aget photographed are still present.

It was a beautiful Paris afternoon to walk, talk, enjoy a coffee and then walk and talk some more. It was too bad that my feet were not accustomed to the higher humidity and I developed blisters from the extended walking in my sandals. I just required a pint of therapeutic beer to make things right again and gingerly walk back to my hotel.

Best regards, Douglas

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