This image comes from the collection Ruth and Peter Herzog, one of the largest private photo collections in the world. Since this weekend, the Basel art Museum is showing a small selection from this chamber of wonders which contains almost a half million photographs.
I've seen this around 1865, the resulting image first digital (//fotosammlung.com), and later in the collection in the photo Album of an anonymous photographer among different views of France found again. It stood in a miraculous way, from the pictures of a Loire trip out, kind of like a technical accident.
And it struck me immediately under its spell. I saw hundreds of photos of the collection, but always returned to this. The double hill, the small figures, the distance, everything I wanted to be recognized. Maybe because of the shining path that climbs to the overexposed sky. In which direction time is running?
I just want to stay in this picture, it was like a Déjà-vu, I tried to remember and looked from the bottom to the top and back down an imaginary walk following.
Whether it was the dreamy relationship between light and darkness, between the people and the landscape, between movement and Holding? The small pieces were still on the bright hills, on both sides of the trees framed, or even embraced, in the nature recovered.
The photo transcendence seemed to materialize. All the people, the light and the time – fades to the White at the end of over the hills and everything Material dissolves into light aimed here to the top. People don't move and look down to the camera, to us. The opposing effort to the top and to the bottom (of the gravity) makes the counterpoint, at first glance, this light and peaceful image. It has a balanced movement, and radiates an almost painful beauty, as a recovery that remembers the disease.
In had possessed in my Childhood, an American book with the enigmatic title "Up the Down Staircase". In Russian it sound even more beautiful: The same number of syllables drove to the top to fall and then again in the same number down. Something Similar happened to you: As you see in this picture an hourglass, which is supported by the slightly asymmetrical composition. I have enlarged the image, and then discovered that almost all of the women are nuns on the hill; perhaps your monastery is in the vicinity, and what I mean to identify here in this walk corresponds literally to a spiritual ascent.Updated Date: 22 July 2020, 07:19