In Paris, too, did I find some work by Daido Moriyama. The Kamel Mennour gallery, now representing various contemporary artists, started off with photography, and in particular Japanese photography. This very little space rue Mazarine cannot host a great deal of pieces, but still had enough to give an idea of the variety of Moriyama’s practice, in a show called Remix II. Some older analogue prints, from the 80s were truly beautiful, in particular the cherry trees, which develop a thousand shades of grey and have the fine grain of paper.
There was also a city view by night, in a slight blur, a contact sheet (Moriyama just published a book of his contact sheets), objects that reminded me of some of the works exhibited at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. It couldn’t be a Moriyama show without at least one “tights”. Three pictures particularly attracted my attention by their size.
They were bigger in format than the other pictures, sporting a fashionable heavy grain. That was too much. After having been explained that those were the more recent prints, more enlarged, and transformed from a negative to a digital print, I decided that I did not like them. Of course the images themselves are doubtless great, but I believe that this much blowing up belongs to the past in photography. It does probably appeal because it reminds one of painting, of large contemporary pieces that look good in a big room. However it tends to distort the true nature of the image and the essence of the photographic work (in this particular case). Size really matters in photography. It determines the physical relationship that you have with the work, the distance from which you are able to see it best, the destination of the piece… This Parisian exhibition was the occasion to understand this better, and also to keep familiarising with this prolific master even more.
Daido Moriyama | Remix II | 6 September – 6 October 2012 | kamel mennour, rue Mazarine, Paris