20.01.2020 Sauniere Magnitude Scale (SMS, French: Echelle de Saunière)

La fotografia e la piu bella delle collezioni

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Sauniere Magnitude Scale


L’Échelle de Saunière propose de mesurer la capacité d’émerveillement des êtres humains, à l’annonce de la découverte d’un supposé trésor. De nature logarithmique, elle prend en compte la propagation de la nouvelle dans différents langages ainsi que le nombre de publications en papier ou en ligne. Elle ne mesure que la magnitude de l’intérêt suscité, indépendamment de la véracité des annonces ou des valeurs relatives des trésors annoncés. En étudiant dans un second temps l’équation des ondes de propagation des nouvelles, on ne manquera de rencontrer d’intéressants résultats sur la présence ou l’absence de corrélation avec la réalité desdits trésors.

The Sauniere Magnitude Scale (SMS) suggests a way of measuring the sense of mystery or wonder, the potential marvel for present times by announcing the discovery of a presumed treasure. Logarithmic in nature, it takes into account the spread of this news in a variety of languages and in a number of publications. It only measures the magnitude of the interest generated, regardless of the declared veracity compared to the relative worth of the revealed treasures.

It was devised by a small group of Amateurs in Senigallia in January 2020.

The Da Vinci code, inspired by Abbé Saunière’s life and adventures, Chinese Edition, People’s Literature Publishing House (May 1, 2009). The Treasure of Saunière reached a SMS of 6 when the inspired interpretation of Dan Brown became a treasure with a SMS of 8.

Magnitudes are usually determined from measurements of the number of publications of the invention of a treasure as recorded in the different media. Magnitude scales vary on which media are considered and how they are measured. Different magnitude scales are necessary because of differences in figures in time, since the appearance of language, of writing, of printing, now of the internet. And especially since a decade, with AI online tools and large databases measuring the output of an individual’s scientific research or the impact of a single article with the so-called H-Index, Eigenfactor, Impact Factor (IF), Journal Citation Reports, and Citation Analysis.

Gustave Le Gray,
A Muisca Zipa covered in gold dust on his raft, body art at the origin of the wonder of El Dorado.

Volume of information, articles, books, tweets, and qualitative observations (using terms ranging from "secrete" and "discrete" to "colossal" and "universal") are used to determine the propagation value. The scale is open-ended with the largest treasures in human history given magnitude 9.

A value of 0 is given for secret discoveries, defined as less than 100 persons informed, without any referenced publication; 1 with at least one publication, but less than a 1000 supposed readers or followers, and 9 representing a colossal propagation which can reach more than a quarter of the Earth human general population.

George H. Johnson (Attr.) California gold miners with rocker and sluice, c. 1850, daguerreotype from the AIC on show at Nelson-Atkins. The discovery of the daguerreotype became a wonderful event of second generation.

With indices running from 0 to 8, the SMS associated with a supposed discovery is dependent on the propagation of the information in different languages, to what geographical area, and how long the wave lasts. The scale is logarithmic from SMS-2 and up; an increase of 1 index indicates an eruption of curiosity that is 10 times as powerful.

The discovery of the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, 210 BC was kept secret until 1974, then all the weapons had disapeared.

As such there is a discontinuity in the definition of the SMS between indices 1 and 2. The lower border of the volume of wonder jumps by a factor of ten between all higher indices. In the following table in progress, the frequency of each SMS indicates the approximate frequency of new supposed discoveries of that SMS and higher.

Priam’s Treasure, first discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in modern Turkey, 1873, then by the Red Army in Berlin, May 1945, last, by the general public, in September 1993 at the Pushkin Museum.

Happy 2020 full of Wonder !

Happy New Year Twenty-Twenty !
Bonne année 2020 !
Tanti auguri per 2020 !
Serge Plantureux
Palazzo Augusti Arsilli
Via Marchetti 2
60019 Senigallia


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09.01.2020 Chacun dans son coin, Standing in the Corner

La fotografia e la piu bella delle collezioni

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In 1948, Irving Penn pushed together two studio flats, put on the floor a piece of old carpeting and began making “a very rich series of pictures … This confinement, surprisingly seemed to comfort people, soothing them. The walls were a surface to lean on or push against. For me the picture possibilities were interesting: limiting the subjects’ movement seemed to relieve me of part of the problem of holding on to them." (Irving Penn)

Irving Penn, Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1948

About one hundred years earlier, in 1849, Gustave Le Gray had the same idea. The young photographer, devastated by the loss of two daughters who died at home at rue de Richelieu in the cholera pandemic, left the center of Paris (they died rue de Richelieu) for the green and windy neighbouring plain of Les Batignolles. There, in his atelier he began making a series of very creative portraits in simple corners or on old carpets. Most have been lost but some remain :

Gustave Le Gray,
Gustave Le Gray, Edmond Cottinet, Les Batignolles, c. 1849.

The poet, born in 1824, founded in 1883 the French holyday camps.

Irving Penn, Truman Capote, New York, 1948

The two curators of the Paris Irving Penn show held at the Grand Palais in 2017, Maria Morris Hambourg and Jeff L. Rosenheim, had the generous idea to propose to the public one of the original backdrops of Irving Penn, giving the oportunity to return to the exhibition looking "behind" the portraits, and celebrating the American Master of the Backdrop !

Happy New Year Twenty-Twenty !
Bonne année 2020 !
Tanti auguri per 2020 !
Serge Plantureux
Palazzo Augusti Arsilli
Via Marchetti 2
60019 Senigallia


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мир очень мале нький, or a Little Known Chapter of Russian America, Orthodox Community in the Pribilov Islands, Long After the Alaska Purchase

La fotografia e la piu bella delle collezioni

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мир очень маленький

It’s a Small World, #101

This month’s featured transmission is about a little known persistence of Russian America, an Orthodox community in the Pribilov Islands, long after the 1867 Alaska Purchase, as seen in 1919 by a young paleontologist and fur-seal census-taker G Dallas Hanna (1887-1970)

The Russian Exploration

On roughly 16 July 1742, Bering and the crew of Sv. Petr sighted Mount Saint Elias on the Alaskan mainland; they turned westward toward Russia soon afterward. Meanwhile, Chirikov and the Sv. Pavel headed back to Russia in October with news of the land they had found. Beginning in 1743, small associations of fur-traders began to sail from the shores of the Russian Pacific coast to the Aleutian islands. As the runs from Asiatic Russia to America became longer expeditions (lasting two to four years or more), the crews established hunting- and trading-posts. By the late 1790s some of these had become permanent settlements, especially in the Pribilov islands, in what later became Russian America.

Russian America

The signing of the Treaty, March 30, 1867 (detail)

One cottage, 216 log cabins, 23 isolated posts and a large piece of land sold for 7,2 M$

Seward told the nation that the Russians estimated that Alaska contained about 2,500 Russians and those of mixed race (that is, a Russian father and native mother), and 8,000 indigenous people, in all about 10,000 people under the direct government of the Russian fur company, and possibly 50,000 Inuit and Alaska Natives living outside its jurisdiction. The Russians were settled at 23 trading posts, placed at accessible islands and coastal points. At smaller stations only four or five Russians were stationed to collect furs from the natives for storage and shipment when the company’s boats arrived to take it away. There were two larger towns. New Archangel, now named Sitka, had been established in 1804 to handle the valuable trade in the skins of the sea otter and in 1867 contained 116 small log cabins with 968 residents. St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands had 100 homes and 283 people and was the center of the seal fur industry. After the transfer, a number of Russian citizens first remained in Sitka, but very soon nearly all of them decided to return to Russia. The Aleutian and Métis population of St. Paul became the main persistence of the Russian presence.

Alaska Purchase

Summer Expedition to St.-Paul Island

G Dallas Hanna (1887-1970)

Pribilov Islands, Bering Sea, 1919

Album with one map, a manuscript table, recent censuses of the seal hord and 68 vintage silver prints, mostly 180×240 mm, several signed in negative, with a printed booklet, Geological Notes on the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, with an Account of the Fossil Diatoms, excerpt from the American Journal of Science, September 1919, stamp: "private library of John P torsch"

His first name was G, just that, no period, G Dallas Hanna (1887-1970) worked for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries as Assistant Warden, Teacher, Radio Operator on St. George Island (1913—1914), then Agent, Teacher, Storekeeper, fur-seal census-taker on St. Paul Island (Summers 1913—1919), before becoming paleontologist and curator at the California Academy of Sciences, (1919-1970).

This album includes photographs made by Hanna to illustrate his own manuscript, The Alaska Fur-Seal Islands, as well as photographs made by others that were collected by Hanna. Images show wildlife on St. Paul and St. George islands including seals, sea lions, and birds. They also depict aspects of the fur-seal census, and sealing operations, including fur-seal harvests, and buildings, and Pribilof Islands native villagers with their orthodox Pope – presented as Greek Catolic….

The last images illustrate the hellish activity of the island, mass killing of artic animals. Killing fields, "thousands of carcasses were left to rot…".

Further reading: John A. Lindsay, Gina Rappaport, and Betty A. Lindsay, Pribilof Islands, Alaska Guide to Photographs and Illustrations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, August 2009

Serge Plantureux
Cabinet d’expertises et d’investigations
Palazzo Augusti Arsilli
Via Marchetti 2
60019 Senigallia

The transmission presents articles as well as selections of books, albums, photographs and documents as they have been handed down to the actual owners by their creators and by amateurs from past generations. The physical descriptions, attributions, origins, and printing dates of the books and photographs have been carefully ascertained by collations and through close analysis of comparable works. When items are for sale, the prices are in Euros, and Paypal is accepted.


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15.12.2019. Black Silhouettes of 3 Female Slave Owners, An Hommage to Kara Walker

La fotografia e la piu bella delle collezioni

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Paris au temps de Daguerre, #2

This month’s featured transmission is about black silhouettes of dark minds made in Paris in the 1820’s, and is dedicated to Kara Walker.


Saint-Domingue was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now Haiti.


French Slave Owners

In 1791, enslaved Africans and some free people of color of Saint-Domingue began waging a rebellion against French authority. The rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, although this alienated the island’s dominant slave-holding class. France controlled the entirety of Hispaniola from 1795 to 1802, when a renewed rebellion began. The last French troops withdrew from the western portion of the island in late 1803, and the colony later declared its independence as Haiti, its indigenous name, the following year.

Settlers from St.-Domingue


Claims from Slave Owners

Between 1826 and 1833, following the French King’s Ordinance on the implementation of the Act of 30 April-13 May 1826 on the distribution of compensation for former settlers of St.- Domingue, a Royal Commission verified more than 27,000 claims from St.- Domingue owners and their beneficiaries, ultimately retaining 12,000 files. Between 1828 and 1834, the commission published the results of its work in six large volumes.

Colons spoliés / Archives Nationales

Black Silhouettes of Three Former Slaves Owners:

Alice Genet, Amélie Flandin and Lucie Barras

Paris, circa 1830 (Instruction of the indemnisation, 1826-1833)

Three cut-out silhouettes, 40×25 cm, on original paper mounts, sheets, about 50×40 cm, with names in ink or pencil (followed by a digital image of the left panel of Kara Walker’s triptych Resurrection Story with Patrons, courtesy Hamilton College)

In 1791, enslaved Africans and some free people of color of Saint-Domingue began waging a rebellion against French authority. The rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, although this alienated the island’s dominant slave-holding class. France controlled the entirety of Hispaniola from 1795 to 1802, when a renewed rebellion began. The last French troops withdrew from the western portion of the island in late 1803, and the colony later declared its independence as Haiti, its indigenous name, the following year.

Prior to the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), the economy of Saint-Domingue gradually expanded, with sugar and, later, coffee becoming important export crops. After the war, which disrupted maritime commerce, the colony underwent rapid expansion. In 1767, it exported 72 million pounds of raw sugar and 51 million pounds of refined sugar, one million pounds of indigo, and two million pounds of cotton.[11] Saint-Domingue became known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" — one of the richest colonies in the world in the 18th-century French empire. It was the greatest jewel in imperial France’s mercantile crown. By the 1780s, Saint-Domingue produced about 40 percent of all the sugar and 60 percent of all the coffee consumed in Europe. This single colony, roughly the size of Hawaii or Belgium, produced more sugar and coffee than all of the British West Indies colonies combined, generating enormous revenue for the French government and enhancing its power.

The labor for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves, accounting in 1783–1791 for a third of the entire Atlantic slave trade. Between 1764 and 1771, the average annual importation of slaves varied between 10,000 and 15,000; by 1786 it was about 28,000, and from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year. However, the inability to maintain slave numbers without constant resupply from Africa meant the slave population in 1789 totalled to 500,000, ruled over by a white population that numbered only 32,000.[11] At all times, a majority of slaves in the colony were African-born, as the brutal conditions of slavery and tropical diseases such as yellow fever prevented the population from experiencing growth through natural increase [1]. African culture thus remained strong among slaves to the end of French rule. The folk religion of Vodou commingled Catholic liturgy and ritual with the beliefs and practices of the Vodun religion of Guinea, Congo and Dahomey.[12] Slave traders scoured the Atlantic coast of Africa, and the slaves who arrived came from hundreds of different tribes, their languages often mutually incomprehensible.

Saint-Domingue had the largest and wealthiest free population of color in the Caribbean; they were known as the gens de couleur. The royal census of 1789 counted roughly 25,000 such persons. While many free population of color were former slaves, most members of this class were mulattoes, of mixed French/European and African ancestry. Typically, they were the descendants of the enslaved women and French colonists. As in New Orleans, a system of plaçage developed, in which white men had a kind of common-law marriage with slave or free mistresses, and provided for them with a dowry, sometimes freedom, and often education or apprenticeships for their mixed-race children. Some such descendants of planters inherited considerable property. As their numbers grew, they were made subject to discriminatory colonial legislation. Statutes forbade gens de couleur from taking up certain professions, marrying whites, wearing European clothing, carrying swords or firearms in public, or attending social functions where whites were present

After the defeat of the French army, wealthy white owners saw the opportunity to preserve their political power and plantations. They attacked the town halls that had representatives of the defeated French authority. Elite planters took control of the former Spanish side of the island, asking Spain for a Spanish government and protection by the Spanish army. Later these planters created trade regulations that would further preserve their own wealth and power.

Between 1826 and 1833, following the King’s Ordinance on the implementation of the Act of 30 April-13 May 1826 on the distribution of compensation for former settlers of Santo Domingo[archive], a Royal Commission verified more than 27,000 claims from Santo Domingo owners and their beneficiaries, ultimately retaining 12,000 files. Between 1828 and 1834, the commission published the results of its work in six large volumes. This is the famous detailed statement of the liquidations carried out by the Commission responsible for distributing the compensation awarded to the former settlers of Santo Domingo, in accordance with the law of 30 April 1826. An important source of genealogy, social and economic history of Santo Domingo, the detailed state includes data on about 7,900 former homeowners and 1,500 other buildings. The document provides as follows:

the surnames and forenames of the owner(s);

the surnames and forenames of the heirs/beneficiaries of the former owner(s);

the name, parish and exact location of the dwelling;

the type of activity (sugar factory, cafeteria, indigotry, cottage industry, etc.)

the amount of compensation awarded.

Serge Plantureux
Palazzo Augusti Arsilli
Via Marchetti 2
60019 Senigallia

CONSIGNED IT, a benefit auction in support of the cultural heritage and photographic activities of the City of Senigallia.


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Une exposition à Senigallia et un article remarquable de Michele Smargiassi : Giacomelli ou le don d’ubiquité

A l’occasion d’une interessante exposition dans le nouveau lieu d’exposition de Senigallia PIKTART (https://www.pikta.it/piktart/), le journaliste Michele Smargiassi a rédigé un remarquable article sur le don d’ubiquité de Mario Giacomelli, qui savait élargir son champ de vision grace à la complicité avec des amis voyageurs dans les airs ou sur terre, à qui il confiait parfois sa camera, toujours des instructions précises de metteur en scène. Voici la traduction (adaptée) de l’article du blog au nom malicieux : “Fotocrazia”. Une version de l’article a paru dans La Repubblica le 23 novembre 2019.

“Il était curieux de savoir de quelle manière Dieu nous observe. Que comprend-il de nous, depuis le haut des cieux, lui qui “ne peux voir, s’il est juste au-dessus de nous, dans quel état nous sommes réduits”.

Ce sont les paroles de Mario Giacomelli, recueillies par sa nièce Simona Guerra, dans une longue interview, peu avant sa mort, en 2000.

Mais Dieu n’a pas peur de voler dans le haut des cieux. Et par ailleurs, Dieu est omniscient. Mais lui, Giacomelli, ne l’est pas. Il a donc cherché une solution.

« Amateur » génial, Giacomelli fut l’un des plus grands artistes utilisant la photographie au XXe siècle, peut-être l’un des deux ou trois photographes Italiens connus au-delà des frontières de ce pays culturellement autarcique.

Mais en fait, cet artiste inspiré, isolé et plutôt misanthrope, avait peur de s’envoler dans les airs. Il a donc eu idée d’emprunter les yeux d’un ami et compatriote, un collègue photographe professionnel qui, lui, avait l’habitude des avions.

Capture d’écran 2019-12-03 à 09.41.58

planche-contact de l’archive Leopoldi, Senigallia

Continuer la lecture de « Une exposition à Senigallia et un article remarquable de Michele Smargiassi : Giacomelli ou le don d’ubiquité »

07.12.2019 Le Charme discret des enchères secrètes / The Discreet Charm of Automatic Bids

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer une nouvelle façon de participer à la vente aux enchères de photographies organisée à Senigallia par CONSIGNED IT.

1. Vous pouvez venir en personne ou envoyer un(e) ami(e) et participer dans la salle
2. Demander à être appellé(e) et participer au téléphone
3. Vous inscrire sur Drouotonline et participer en ligne
4. Enregistrer un ordre d’achat écrit

Et vous avez maintenant une nouvelle possibilité, une nouveauté de Drouotonline !

5. Enregistrer un ordre secret, ou automatique, sur Drouotonline, qui ne sera connu que du systeme informatique, et ne sera dévoilé qu’au dernier moment pendant les enchères.

Cette méthode secrète est un peu cachée : il faut s’inscrire sur le site :
Puis cliquer sur le bouton laisser un ordre et alors la solution apparait.

Ce tout nouveau service est facturé en cas de victoire 3 % du prix d’adjudication par Drouotonline. Une manière de participer sans astreinte qui ne prive pas les joueurs d’une modeste poussée d’adrénaline.

We are pleased to announce a new way to participate in the photo auction organized in Senigallia by CONSIGNED IT.
1. You can come in person or send a friend and participate in the room
2. Ask to be called and participate on the phone
3. Register on Drouotonline and participate online
4. Register a written purchase order

And now you have a new possibility, a new feature of Drouotonline

5. Register a secret, or automatic, order on Drouotonline, which will only be known by the computer system, and will only be revealed at the last moment during the auction.

This secret method is a little hidden: you have to register on the site:
Then click on the button leave an order and then the solution appears.

This brand new service is invoiced in case of victory 3% of the auction price by Drouotonline. A way of participating without constraint that does not deprive players of a modest burst of adrenaline.

07.12.2019 Première vente aux enchères organisée à Senigallia par CONSIGNED IT

Just click to get the catalogue for smartphone: CONSIGNED IT-catalogo 7.12.2019

Just click to get the catalogue in bookform:  CONSIGNED IT-catalogue-vente 7.12.2019

Photographic auction
Palazzetto Baviera, Piazza del Duca, Senigallia

Saturday Dec 7, 2019 / Sabato 7 dicembre 2019
3 pm / ore 15.00

Viewing / Mostra pubblica :
Senigallia, Palazzetto Baviera
Dec 2/Dec7 : 10-13 & 16-19

Informations :
Elisa Crostella
+39 373 798 6040

Press and Public Relations:
Julia Delhomme
+33 661 424753


Auctionner / Battitore :
Raphaël Chicheportiche
+33 652 963811

Expert / Perizia :
Serge Plantureux
+33 650 856074 / +39 347 1115466

Online auction / Asta a distanza : https://www.drouotonline.com/ventes/102455

16.10.19 Vente à Drouot : Les Voyages photographiques d’Alexandre Trauner

Drouot mercredi 16 octobre, 14h10, quelques minutes avant la vente :

Accéder au catalogue pdf :



Accéder au résultats :



Accéder au bel article sur le blog de Sophie Rostain, Mediapart :




Mercredi, jour des enfants, ça tombe bien, rêvons ! Sis à l’hôtel Drouot (mais aussi, magie de la modernité, en live sur le site, si vous avez la chance d’être à Paris, vous attendent des merveilles en noir et blanc, des gouaches, des croquis, des lettres, formant Les Voyages photographiques d’Alexandre Trauner, proposés aux enchères par maîtres Binoche et Giquello.

En décembre 2012, une vente avait déjà ouvert les portes d’un trésor fabuleux autour de l’amitié entre Jacques Prévert et « Trau ». Une maquette des Enfants du Paradis s’envola pour 78 000 euros (on murmure que l’heureuse propriétaire de cette huile sur toile peinte en 1943 vit à Doha) et les 340 lots partirent pour 374 605 euros… Mais basta de la valeur pécuniaire ! Aujourd’hui, place au rêve, embarquons aux côtés du jeune Trau, tel que nous le montrent ces 276 lots, épreuves argentiques, croquis, gouaches, que l’expert Serge Plantureux a eu la chance de pouvoir sélectionner parmi plus de 25 000 épreuves (sans compter les quelque 50 000 négatifs qui dorment encore dans une maison, quelque part vers l’Ouest).

Nous sommes en 1929, Trauner fuit sa Hongrie natale écrasée par l’ignoble dictateur Horty et débarque à Paris. Engagé par les studios Tobias, il peint des décors et achète son premier Leica. Pinceau, crayon, et Leica, tout est bon pour rendre la vie qu’il attrape, l’œil malicieux, ici, ailleurs, là, nuit, jour, aube fraîche, réveil des enfants et des femmes, seul ou avec l’ami Brassaï. Continuer la lecture de « 16.10.19 Vente à Drouot : Les Voyages photographiques d’Alexandre Trauner »

21.09.19 AMSTERDAM DIALOGUE : Zed Poinpoin (geboren in Algerije, 1961) Robots 1987 (pre-digitale dialoog) São Paulo-Parijs, 1987 (uitzonderlijk is deze transmissie in het Nederlands)

La nouvelle foire d’Amsterdam s’est déroulée samedi 21 septembre dans un lieu incongru mais fort bien adapté (Le CEC d’Amsterdam Zuidoost).

On y a vu une exposition de portraits de Zed Poinpoin, datant de 1987, époque héroique pré-digitale

Zed Poinpoin (né en Algérie, 1961)
Robots 1987 (Dialogue pre-digital)
São Paulo-Paris, 1987

Encre de chine sur épreuve argentique monochrome, 175×120 mm, signée

Sous le pseudonyme de Zed Poinpoin, ce jeune muraliste français fut un électron libre du mouvement de la Figuration libre entre 1983 et 1993.
Hors des galeries et des musées, à l’instar des autres artistes de sa génération, inspiré par le graffiti (Affichage sauvage, Biennale de Paris – 1985), ils se consacra au graphisme pour différents éditeurs (Exposition, VIA-1987).  En l’espace de 10 ans, entre Barcelone, Milan, Hong-Kong et Montréal où il crée son agence de design, il franchise ses dessins pour différents supports, du textile à l’ameublement, et notamment pour près d’une centaine de maquettes de tapis. Durant une décennie, son travail s’est illustré du dessin à la peinture (expositions principalement en France, au Canada et au Brésil).

Ses formes d’appropriation de différentes surfaces sont marquées par ses qualités de coloriste et par un trait franc d’une grande spontanéité.
Prémonitoire à plusieurs titres, cet ensemble de portraits photographiques brésiliens des années 1950 repris à l’encre de chine en 1987 illustre une corporation de robots avec laquelle l’artiste deviendra singulièrement familier au cours des années suivantes.

Zed Poinpoin (geboren in Algerije, 1961)
Robots 1987 (pre-digitale dialoog)
São Paulo-Parijs, 1987
Inkt uit China op monochrome zilverdruk, gesigneerd

Onder het pseudoniem Zed Poinpoin was deze jonge Franse muralist tussen 1983 en 1993 een vrij elektron van de Vrije Figuratiebeweging.

Buiten de galeries en musea, zoals de andere kunstenaars van zijn generatie, geïnspireerd door graffiti (Affichage sauvage, Biennale de Paris – 1985), wijdden zij zich aan grafisch ontwerp voor verschillende uitgevers (Exposition, VIA-1987).  In tien jaar tijd, tussen Barcelona, Milaan, Hong Kong en Montreal, waar hij zijn ontwerpbureau oprichtte, gaf hij zijn tekeningen in franchise voor verschillende media, van textiel tot meubels, en in het bijzonder voor bijna honderd tapijtmodellen. Zijn werk onderscheidt zich al tien jaar lang van tekenen tot schilderen (tentoonstellingen voornamelijk in Frankrijk, Canada en Brazilië).

Zijn vormen van toe-eigening van verschillende oppervlakken worden gekenmerkt door zijn kwaliteiten als colorist en door een openhartige lijn van grote spontaniteit.

Dit fotografische grup met Braziliaanse portretten uit de jaren vijftig, dat in 1987 in Chinese inkt werd genomen, is een voorgevoel op verschillende niveaus en illustreert een samenwerking van robots waarmee de kunstenaar in de jaren daarna op een unieke manier vertrouwd zal raken.

Les organisateurs ont été fort accueillants et joyeux.

Continuer la lecture de « 21.09.19 AMSTERDAM DIALOGUE : Zed Poinpoin (geboren in Algerije, 1961) Robots 1987 (pre-digitale dialoog) São Paulo-Parijs, 1987 (uitzonderlijk is deze transmissie in het Nederlands) »


The pilot episode of the Biennale di Senigallia took place in May 2019. This experimental project will become sustainable.

Since its invention, photography has played a major role in the development of forensic science, starting with the Bertillonage search for repeat criminology offenders, then the reconstruction of crime scenes, ballistics and the various possibilities offered by macro photography (medium or high “intensity” magnification); continuing to today’s video surveillance and facial recognition techniques.
Since its invention, photography has considerably questioned the jurisprudence and procedures of the law. Without going so far as to speak of a revenge of iconodules, the articles and codes of the whole of Europe must adapt to the emergence of photographic images almost always credited with a high value of temporal truth.
As classical photography disappears from our lives under the pervasive progress of digital technologies, an awareness in various professions and levels of society is bringing together more and more people interested in the study of the history of photography and in particular the material study of photographic objects.
The city of Senigallia is located in Italy, in the Province of the Marche d’Ancona, i. e. in the former papal states on the Adriatic Sea. A recent law passed in the summer of 2018 designated it, for the whole of Italy, as the Città della fotografia, the City of Photography.

17.07.2019 Une suggestion pour démarrer une collection au quart de seconde ?

Il existe cinq versions de la partie de cartes de Cézanne, plus quelques dessins et études préparatoires. Chaque musée ou chaque collectionneur pourra, s’il le désire, obtenir un fragment d’un quart de seconde du film contemporain des frères Lumière :

Une dizaine de séquence de 6, 7 ou 8 photogrammes sont disponibles. Ils proviennent d’un fragment de quelques secondes récemment retrouvé, rescapé d’une bobine positive d’époque du film La partie d’écarté, tourné à la Ciotat quelques jours après Noël 1895. C’est donc un des premiers films, réalisé au moment des premières séances publiques de cinématographe de décembre 1895.

C’est un film positif d’époque, avec ses perforations rondes, et on y voit Antoine Lumière (1840-1911) en personne, lui qui incita ses deux fils à unifier et faire la synthèse des inventions complémentaires de l’époque : chronophotographie, dessin animé, projection lumineuse, peep-show. Il est entouré de proches du premier cercle familial :

Le nom des trois joueurs :

Antoine Lumière : le joueur de cartes au chapeau clair
Félicien Trewey (prestidigitateur et agent des Lumière à Londres) : l’autre joueur de cartes
Alphonse Winckler (beau-père de Louis, d’Auguste et de leur sœur) : le spectateur (au centre)

Ce fragment correspond au premières secondes du film qui dure en tout 46 secondes. Assis à une table de jardin, deux hommes (Antoine Lumière et  Félicien Trewey), devant un troisième homme (le beau-père), font une partie d’écarté, un jeu de cartes (32 cartes) à la mode au XIXe siècle.

Quelques secondes plus tard intervient un serveur qui lorgne le jeu, volubile et enthousiaste. Il applaudit le vainqueur qui, contre toute attente, n’est pas le manipulateur de cartes professionnel. Les trois hommes trinquent à leur amitié. Alphonse Winckler était brasseur de bière et souhaitait promouvoir une boisson encore peu répandue dans cette région lyonnaise. Le serveur lui est dans la vie civile le valet de chambre d’Antoine Lumière, Ferraut.

Remarque : Alphonse Winckler est triplement allié à Antoine Lumière : en février 1893, sa fille Rose a épousé Louis Lumière, et six mois plus tard et le même jour, le 31 août 1893 son fils Jules épousait  Juliette Lumière,  et sa cadette Marguerite, Auguste Lumière. Cela ne s’arrête pas là, en 1903, le cadet des Winckler, Charles épouse France Lumière. Et pour la génération suivante, leur fille Odette Winckler épouse en 1926 Henri Lumière avec qui elle partage exactement les même quatre grands-parents.

Le film est disponible en version numérique en ligne :



Éléments pour une histoire matérielle du film cinématographique

En 1887, l’Américain John Carbutt invente un film souple, transparent et résistant en nitrate de cellulose, que l’industriel George Eastman met sur le marché en 1888, débité en rouleaux de 70 mm de large sans substance photosensible et sans perforations.

D’abord, le film Eastman est découpé sur sa longueur en trois rubans de 19 mm de large (un pouce). Edison, dans sa jeunesse avait été un habile opérateur du télégraphe électrique, il était familiarisé à la présence de perforations sur le ruban de papier de l’invention de Samuel Morse, qui assuraient l’avancée du message.

Il dote la bande de 19 mm (1 pouce) d’une unique rangée de perforations rectangulaires arrondies dont il prend soin de déposer le brevet. Ces perforations se situent sous le photogramme, à raison de 6 perforations par image, car le défilement de la pellicule se fait à l’horizontal. Les premiers photogrammes obtenus sont circulaires, dernier lien de l’invention avec les jouets optiques, et mesurent en diamètre trois-quarts de pouce, soit environ 12 mm.

Continuer la lecture de « 17.07.2019 Une suggestion pour démarrer une collection au quart de seconde ? »

10.07.2019 Forbidden Images of the Last Dynastic Funeral processions: Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi

Ci-Xi - detail

The only western account of the Empress Dowager’s death ritual – despite some casual notes by members of the diplomatic body – was provided by the London Times correspondent G. E. Morrison, who gave a detailed eye-witness description of the funeral procession in 1909.

Ci-Xi - 15

Photography was forbidden, this group of twelve silver prints come from the circle of Theophile Piry, and could be attributed to this diplomat and master of the Imperial Post Office, a known amateur photographer. The composition and general aspect of the twelve pictures confirm the hypothesis of unofficial unauthorized snapshots of the Emperor Guangxu’s funeral procession in May 1909.

Ci-Xi - Titre

Elaborate details on imperial death rituals during the Qing were presented in the Collected Statutes and Precedente and in the Collected rituals of the dynasty…

Born in the year 1835, the later Empress Dowager Cixi was selected as a low- ranking imperial concubine in 1851.

Ci-Xi - 9

By her death the Manchu rule over China was greatly weakened: Cixi died on November 15, 1908, less than one day after the demise of the Emperor Guangxu, a coincidence which gave rise to countless rumors about the causes of death of the late Majesties.

Yun Yuding, a court officiai, recorded the Empress Dowager’s famous words ”I cannot die before him” (the Emperor) supporting the rumor that the Emperor had died at the hands of the Empress Dowager – Now proved by DNA.

Ci-Xi - 10

… In Confucian state ideology, ritual, the performance of rites and roles, was conceived of as essential background of order and unity. Rituals explicitly differentiated the social relations. The correct performance of the prescribed rites functioned as a means to order the family structure, to stabilize the social hierarchy, to consolidate the state, and thus to prevent all these organizations from disorder.
Continuer la lecture de « 10.07.2019 Forbidden Images of the Last Dynastic Funeral processions: Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi »

04.07.2019 The Second Permanent Secretary, or Light and Birth of an Invention at the French Academy of Sciences

Since the foundation in 1666, the members of the French Academy of sciences have been called “Immortels”, and the secretaries “Perpetuels”. During the entirety of 19th century there were two permanent secretaries managing the “seances”. In the year of the announcement of the invention of photography, in 1839, one perpetuel was the famous François Arago who announced the first complete practical photographic process at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, on 7 January 1839 and followed all the first public developments.

Earlier in the century, the main dispute in the Academy and also in all of the scientific community was about the classical particle and wave theories of light. François Arago had been a fierce supporter in the 1810s of the wave view, against the ray and particle view, but this opinion began to dominate scientific thinking about light only in the mid 19th century. Among his friends, Alexander von Humboldt was on the same side, while Jean-Baptiste Biot was then on the opposite side following Laplace. It is interesting to note than when Daguerre visited Arago on late 1838, the Perpetuel sat down with both Humboldt and Biot to evaluate the invention. The same scholars who had argued about the theory of light 30 years before were now gathering to study together its effects and persistent shadows on a polished silver mirror.

The other Perpetuel was Pierre Flourens, a physiologist who proved that the mind was located in the brain, not the heart, through the study of ablations on numerous animals, and who also was a pioneer in anesthesia. Pierre and François worked together for twenty years as François was permanent secretary, maths section, betwen 1830 and 1853, when Pierre was between 1833 and 1868. And when Arago passed away, Flourens took over the various presentations of improvement in the field of scientific photography (10 October 1853: about Delessert’s Portfolio of reproductions of Marc-Antoine Raimondi’s engravings, 9 January 1854: Lithophographie ou impressions sur pierre obtenues à l’aide de la photographie by Lemercier, Lerebours, Barreswill & Davanne, 14 April 1856: presentation of Van Monckoven’s Traité général de Photographie…).

At the some moment in 1848, Pierre Flourens had to choose an artist to create a portrait of his three children, three sons. His choice went to Philibert Derussy (1814-1894), 3 rue des Prouvaires, corner of 83 rue saint-Honoré. This operator is little known today and his name and dates are even difficult to find out. Nevertheless Derussy was among the first group of only five photographers to receive a prize (a mention) in the first public photography exhibition ! Together with Sabatier-Blot, Bourquin, Claudet and Bisson, see article here : la première exposition de photographie de l’histoire : Champs-Élysées, Mai-Juin 1844. Derussy desapeared as a daguerreian artist in 1851. Was he a Republican, as Flourens was, then he could have followed a large number of artists who closed their activities after the Bonaparte Coup d’Etat. The first association Société Héliographique also suspended its activities, and the photographic Journal “La Lumière” had a long interuption.

We can observe the absence of paper frame or passe-partout. We can also observe Continuer la lecture de « 04.07.2019 The Second Permanent Secretary, or Light and Birth of an Invention at the French Academy of Sciences »

24.06.2019 One hundred and sixty years ago, a young Swiss adventurer creates the first photographs of Japan to be sent to the World

22 June 1859. On board the Imperial Fleet ship …

“In the light of a candle, exhausted by the journey and the incessant movements of a rough sea, I sketch out in the freshness of the moment, my first impressions of Japan as seen in the night. Although we did not really have access to the port of Nagasaki, the doors of the Deshima counter welcomed us warmly and quickly opened up to a multitude of new and interesting characters, Japanese and foreign residents, scientists and traders, dignitaries and coolies. We sleep in comfortable wooden huts, and due to the relative promiscuity of the place, contacts are easy and fast. The geography of the area already tells us about the immense distance we will have to travel to reach the heart of the country, which we do not yet see…”

Those lines are translated from a recently imagined letter of Pierre Rossier, a young Swiss man who was really sent to China, Japan and the Philippines by the ambitious photographic firm of the Chrystal Palace to provide the first images of the Far East to the western Public in 1858. The name of Pierre Rossier had disappeared for 150 years from public attention.

All the informations gathered in this article come from the patient investigation of a passionate dealer and private scholar, Terry Bennett, who investigated for over 20 years. He received help from the community of collectors and curators after he published his first article in the December 2004 issue of The PhotoHistorian- Journal of the Historical Group of the Royal Photographic Society. His books on the history of photography in Japan (2006), China (2009) and Korea (1998) have become classics. The provenance of the six stereoscopic albumen prints offered here is the Gimon collection.

An opportunity to evoke the richness and fragility of the history of photography when the patient and curious study of mysterious clues is threatened by the ogre appetites of the expensive and sterile din of big data.


Pierre Rossier. Reception of the British Legation, Yedo, July 1859

(Original quotes and captions will be found in the main article)

It is probably thanks to Henry Purcell Ward, an officer on board, that Rossier received permission to join this very official trip from Minister Rutherford Alcock, accompanied by consuls and officers, all of whom are coming from Shanghai to attend a historic meeting with the Emperor of Japan.

The boat will stop in Kanagawa and Yokohama after having covered nearly 712 nautical miles, and this before continuing to Yedo.

Pierre Rossier, British Legation, Joryuji Temple, Kanagawa, July 1859

Sir Rutherford Alcock, first Consul,  would not marry Lucy, widow of Rev.  Lowder, British chaplain at Shanghai until July 1862, and the first vice-consul, Francis “Punch” Howard Vyse (1828-1891) never get married. Original quotes and captions will be found in the main article:


1829 – Grandsivaz

Pierre Joseph Rossier was born on the 16th July 1829 in Grandsivaz, a small village in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland, into a Catholic French-speaking farming family of modest means, the 4th eldest of 10 children.

Continuer la lecture de « 24.06.2019 One hundred and sixty years ago, a young Swiss adventurer creates the first photographs of Japan to be sent to the World »

20.06.2019 The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (the Shakespeare of science fiction)

The Invisible Man is an American 1933 Pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale. It was based on H. G. Wells’ science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897.

Philippe Lavallée, Invisible Man Poster Project I, March 1934, signed gouache, 330×250 mm. Original maquette designed by Philippe Lavallée for the French release of James Whale, 2 March 1934 of the American movie.

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft,” reckoned HG Wells and in this, as in so many things, he knew whereof he spoke. The father of modern-day science fiction did not live long enough to see men walk on the moon, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and “ecology gone berserk”.

Philippe Lavallée, Invisible Man Poster Project II, March 1934, signed gouache

But in later years he was party to Hollywood’s burgeoning love affair with his work and by and large seems to have regarded this romance with a stern disapproval. The Island of Lost Souls was judged to be beyond the pale in that it allowed the horror to obscure the serious points of its source material. He could not countenance James Whale’s adaptation of The Invisible Man, because it turned his title character into “a lunatic”…

Continuer la lecture de « 20.06.2019 The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (the Shakespeare of science fiction) »

18.06.2019 A Bogotian Exhibition Celebrates Humboldtian Curiosity

Hermann Biow (1804-1850). Daguerreian portrait of Alexander von Humboldt, 1847, Museum für Kunst and Gewerbe, Hamburg (Wilhelm Weimar’s collection). François Arago contacted two scientists in 1838 to evaluate together the accuracy of a new invention, photography: Alexander von Humboldt and Jean-Baptiste Biot.

Twentieth century scholars characterized Humboldtian science as “synthetic, empirical, quantitative and impossible to fit into any one of our twentieth century disciplinary boundaries.”

Urban Rainbow, Bogota, Sunday 16 June 2019, 15h43’32”

If you have the opportunity to visit Bogota before 6 July, you may visit the exhibition host in the Museo de Arte – Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Curated by Halim Badawi with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and local collectors, La naturaleza de las cosas: Humboldt, idas y venidas presents 100 works in a successful succession of nine cultural dialogues.

Baron Gros, San Angel, 1834, inkwash

Looking at Camillo Achavarria’s 2011 sunset color inkjet photography

Continuer la lecture de « 18.06.2019 A Bogotian Exhibition Celebrates Humboldtian Curiosity »