Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I’ve read, that things inanimate have mov’d,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform’d,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
‘Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.
Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night
The silent Tomb receiv’d the good Old King;
He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg’d
Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom.
Why am not I at Peace?

William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, 1697


In 1946, a young French war correspondent photographer …
seduced by his stopover in Tahiti, when he returned to France from Indochina, chose to settle in Punaauia. Adolphe Sylvain, a public works engineer by training, has just participated in the Libération de Paris as a tank driver in General Leclerc’s 2nd DB. He took the opportunity to fix some of the famous photos of the liberation with his Rolleiflex.

Continuer la lecture de « 12.04.2017 PWT 15-2018 LA MUSIQUE ADOUCIT LES MŒURS – CHARMS TO SOOTH A SAVAGE BREAST »

05.04.2018 PWT 14-2018 NEGRE’S NEGATIVES

“In photography, a negative is an image in which the lightest areas of the photographed subject appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. This reversed order occurs because the extremely light-sensitive chemicals used to capture an image quickly enough for ordinary picture-taking are darkened, rather than bleached, by exposure to light and subsequent photographic processing.Negatives were once commonly made on a thin sheet of glass rather than a plastic film, and some of the earliest negatives were made on paper.

PWT 14-2018 Negre Negatives

28.03.2018 PWT 13-2018 Back to the Cold War ?

Glavsevmorput’ or the Discrete Charm of Soviet Acronyms

“Glavnoe upravlenie Severnogo morskogo puti”, also known as Glavsevmorput or ГУСМП, was a Soviet government organization in charge of the maritime Northern Sea Route, established in January 1932. “The organization employed 35,000 men scattered all over Arctic, overall management was assigned to the Arctic explorer Otto Schmidt, who had previously managed the Arctic Institute. Glavsevmorput had its own Polar Air service Aviaarktika, headed by Mark Shevelev.Glavsevmorput aimed to contribute to the development of northern coastal Siberia; the office was empowered to establish seaports, conduct extensive research, and trade with the United States and Japan as was necessary to its principal function.

“Joseph Stalin came to power in Russia in 1929. By 1933 his campaign to bolster patriotic morale and to cover up his determined effort to eliminate any dissent was in full swing. Posters, parades, broadcasts and newsreels all focused on the accomplishments of the Stalin socialist state. Perhaps his favorite theme centered on the rapidly evolving aviation sector and the people engaged in new and exciting developments. To this end he flung Russian airplane designers and pilots into the competition to capture flight records. And by 1938 Russia had claimed some 68 records for distance, altitude, and various « firsts. »

One of the more spectacular ones was a 6300-mile polar flight of N025 from Moscow to San Jacinto, California, in early 1937, the precedent to likely ordering that a larger aircraft with crew and cargo replicate that feat.
Access to the pdf: PWT 13-2018 Glavsevmorput

23.03.2018 PWT 12-2018 Thirteen Fragile Original Gelatin Relief Matrices from Galerie Contemporaine

“Portraits were printed in woodburytype, a fully continuous tone photomechanical process using carbon black, superbly stable from light fading. This process required negative lead matrices, filled with hot, gelatin-based, pigmented ink. A goodquality india ink was used to produce black images. Woodburytype images were also printed in dark-brown, brown, or purple-brown colors resembling gold-toned albumen photographs in which black was mixed with red pigments” (cf. Stulik& Kaplan, Woodburytype, CCI).

The lead mold, the negative matrix needed a positive matrix: a gelatin relief matrix like those. A high-power hydraulic press was used to press the gelatin matrix into some smooth, perfectly leveled plate of lead, forming then one, two, three negative lead matrices (molds). After a solution of gelatin, albumen, sugar, and ammonium dichromate was dried, it was exposed to sunlight under a glass negative of Nadar or Carjat.

Continuer la lecture de « 23.03.2018 PWT 12-2018 Thirteen Fragile Original Gelatin Relief Matrices from Galerie Contemporaine »


Acces au pdf

A partir de 1923, Drtikol s’éloigne progressivement des écoles pictorialiste et symboliste pour se rapprocher de manière très personnelle des mouvements d’avant-garde, cubisme , futurisme et expressionnisme. Dans ses œuvres datées de sa grande période 1923-1929, souvent des tirages pigmentaires très soignés, on observe l’importance de la modulation de la lumière, des détails qui accentue la beauté des formes élémentaires. Drtikol favorise les poses dynamiques en utilisant des plans serrés, ou en créant l’illusion de mouvement dans un certain nombre de modifications de détail, en ajoutant à la composition des accessoires impressionnants, des tiges cylindriques, en créant des ombres profondes projetées sur les arrière-plans.

En même temps, il accentue le dynamisme par la confrontation des corps aux formes arrondies avec des escaliers de formes acérées, dalles, blocs et autres décorations géométriques. Alors que précédemment Drtikol a photographié les femmes comme des figures littéraires symboliques, maintenant dans ses films, danseurs et gymnastes célèbrent l’idéal antique de la santé physique et la beauté transcendée.Encore plus importante est la place laissée dans son œuvre à la dimension érotique. La plupart de ses nombreux modèles ont vu leur charme résister à toutes les transformations du goût contemporain depuis huit décennies. Cependant, pour Drtikol, la photographie était avant tout un manifeste, un moyen d’affichage symbolique des questions philosophiques, religieuses et psychologiques qui lui semblaient fondamentales.Bien que dans les années 1920, il ait connu une renommée internationale, son travail est resté plus tard oublié pendant l’occupation allemande de l’europe germanique puis le long hiver des démocraties populaires qui suivit.Avant d’entrer au panthéon de l’histoire de la photographie.

PWT 11bis-2018 Drtikol

Catalogue online with Drouot Digital :




Two thousand years of impressions

Two thousand years of paper, two thousand years of impressions, two thousand years of destruction, with two main processes: the paper can move to the text (Eastern tradition) or the text can move to the paper (Western tradition).

In China, the stone or the block (matrix) is fixed firmly on a table. The printer takes a round horsehair inking brush and applies ink with a vertical motion. The paper is then laid on the block and rubbed with a long narrow pad to transfer the impression to the paper. The paper is peeled off and set to dry. Because of the rubbing process, printing is only done on one side of the paper. Further reading on Wikipedia related articles and access to a video with this link:


Weekly transmission 11-2018 presents:

Before paper, 2566 BC: earliest extant papyrus, the Diary of Merer

Before paper, c. 300 BC: bamboo slips, the Book of Laozi

Two thousand years ago, invention of paper in China

175 AD: carved stone books and earliest paper and ink-rubbings

690 AD: did Wu Zetian commission 100,000 printed scrolls ?

July 751 AD: The Battle of Talas near Samarkand, a key event in the history of paper

764 AD: the Empress Kōken commissioned 1,000,000 small printed scrolls

1139 AD : the earliest extant book printed with wooden movable type

July 1377: the earliest extant book printed with movable metal type

March 1455: promotion of the Gutenberg Bible in Frankfurt

1640: the earliest extant book printed in British North America.

1725, the printing of the Chinese Imperial Encyclopaedia

WANG XUE-ZHANG (b. 1953). Three traditional ink rubbings of Luoyang carved inscriptions

Post-scritum by Theophile Bouchet: “A Westerner facing Chinese culture”

Acces au pdf

9.03.2018 PWT 10-2018 Toulouse Lautrec l’Oripeau

“Un tout petit forgeron à binocle”

“Lautrec, having read Poil de Carotte (Carrot Head), asked Tristan Bernard to let him meet the author, Jules Renard. Their first interview took place November 26, 1894 (Journal of J. Renard): « A very small blacksmith with binocle; a small double compartment bag; thick lips, and hands like those he draws with spreading and bony fingers, inches in a semicircle … It hurts first, by the smallness, then he is very alive, very nice, with grunts that separates his sentences and raises his lips, like the wind raises the bulges of a door.  »

Early in 1895, Lautrec researched a fox’s head to compose an ornate letter for an article of his friend in the Revue Blanche. It was Lautrec who proposed to Renard (1895) to illustrate a dozen of his Histoires naturelles, and to sell 100 copies at 25 francs each; the edition will be made by Floury in 1899, it will not be successful…” (Jean Adhémar, Toulouse-Lautrec 1951 BN exhibition catalogue)

PWT 10-2018 Toulouse-Lautrec l’Oripeau

photomontage supervised by Jean Adhemar, 1951, glass plate, 120×90 mm



Ashes and Bones Stories: Martin Bormann’s copy of Palafox and Mendoza

We may be close to a big burning of books. Not by order of a single decision maker fanatic of the Qin Emperor exemplary orders of 213 BCA or another Great Leader a few centuries later. Just a general indifference with a multiplication of governemental bands listing books as outlaw, lists issued by technocratic bureaucraties, all impatient to get rid of thousands of librarians and optimize thousands of buildings.

Let’s pick one small volume, in a strict and severe binding, probably designed by Reichsleiter Martin Bormann. The text is a rather boring German translation of Palafox and Mendoza 1650s texts against the jesuits, printed in Gothic alphabet in 1773, the year of general bannisment of the Jesuits.

The property stamp deserves our attention as the heir of Hitler could have been interested in the administration of Latin America native people, he is said to have chosen the Paraguaian missions as a post apocalyptic heaven.

This small volume, difficult to read, brings our attention to contemplate three centurie: Spain and Mexico in mid 17th, the World in 1773 and the World abter the Fall oftheReich, 1945. Last point, ironically, Martin Bormann is the decision-maker who banished the use of gothic characters in German countries.

PWT 09-2018 Ashes and Bones




A Young Mexican Around the World in Eighty Days

Departing early February 1913, returning in the first days of May, Alberto Nunes jr was travelling with his father, Alberto Nunes and his portable camera. He recorded decisive moments of the trip, on the Union Pacific train, aboard the trans-Pacific liners SS Mongolia and Tenyo Maru — on 2nd class, with Chineses immigrants on steerage — some impressive night fire in Manila, buying toys in a Japaneses shop and the early sewing machines shops and offices. A member of the Nunes family was working for the growing Singer Company : Uncle Luis had became a Singer representative in Manila when he had visibly a terrible accident.

We can imagine the album open when the travellers were telling magical travel recollections to the young ones. Some pencil notes, verso, and ink captions, recto, supported the failing or rather transforming memories, human transmission is always in progress, opposed to the dry and perfect restitutions of machine brains.

The album contains 89 original photos by Alberto junior, printed on postcard papers, together with some printed views and a Japanese portrait with the curious note: “Geisha que attendo a mi abuelo Alberto J. Nunes en una casa del Yoshi-Wara”. (The Geisha who took care of grandfather Alberto in one of the Yoshi-Wara special houses).

Acces au pdf


The Dog (狗) is one of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac

Access to full transmission, PWT 07-2018 Calling up the dog days to be

The Great Race called by the Jade Emperor:

“An ancient folk story tells that Cat and Rat were both very bad at swimming.

Although they were poor swimmers, they were both quite intelligent. To get to the meeting called by the Jade Emperor, they had to cross a river to reach the meeting place. The Jade Emperor had also decreed that the years on the calendar would be named for each animal in the order they arrived to the meeting.

Cat and Rat decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of Ox.

Continuer la lecture de « 15.02.2018 PWT 07-2018 HAPPY NEW YEAR: CALLING ON THE DOG DAYS TO BE »


PWT 05-2018 Breaking the Wall


ZONAMACO MÉXICO ARTE CONTEMPORÁNE O7-11 FEBRUARY 2018 Fifteenth edition with the presence of Galerie du Palace


« Frontiera hipnótica de la conciencia » (English presentation)

Serge Plantureux presents three young French artists under the age of thirty, who articulate their reflection around hypnosis guiding to the border of consciousness, aiming to modify time and space perception. This is a resolutely contemporary notion. Our post-truth era reveals a multitude of fields in which, trough creation, imaginary and reality are mixed-up. To such a point further than what is « possible » or « improbable », opening perspectives on bottomless chasms.

Lyes Hammadouche questions the limits and boundaries of time contemplation trough moving mirrors filled with universes, guiding the gaze to an altered state of consciousness.

Théophile Bouchet draws bodies flirting with waves, floating on the surface of awareness. The eyes are invited towards optical boundaries.

Colin Lusinchi realizes Martian surface samples from possible coring for mining and colonization without limits. These Martian cores testify to the impacts of meteorites and invite the passerby to the cosmic journey,

A seismograph records the vibrations of the space trough the living presence of visitors.

Continuer la lecture de « 01.02.2018 PWT 05-2018 BREAKING THE WALL, GALERIE DU PALACE GOES TO MEXICO »

26.01.2018 Washington National Gallery of Art : Healy’s Portrait of President-Elect on Display

Healy’s Portrait of President-Elect on Display

« In November 1860, shortly after Abraham Lincoln was elected president, George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894) began the portrait on view in this gallery. Healy’s painting was the first portrait for which Lincoln posed following his election and also the last to show him without a beard. Prior to the election, Lincoln had received a letter from an eleven-year-old girl, who wrote that his appearance — as well as his chances for winning — would be improved if he grew whiskers. Lincoln replied that since he had never worn whiskers, the change might be viewed as an « affectation. » Three months later, however, while traveling from Illinois to Washington for his inauguration, Lincoln made a point of stopping in the young girl’s hometown, where he delighted in showing her his newly grown beard. Healy’s empathetic portrait of the clean-shaven president-elect records Lincoln’s features before the outbreak of the Civil War and the radical change in his appearance that followed, as documented in these photographs. »

Access to the complete pdf in progress :Dossier Lincoln 0418


25.01.2018 PWT 04-2018 « Without friends, without intrigue, without fortune … » Louis Cabat Self-educated Painter and Photographer

Louis (Nicolas) Cabat (1812-1893)

Cabat, a French landscape painter, born at Paris Dec. 24, 1812; studied painting under M. Camille Flers (1802-1868), and visited the most picturesque parts of France. He first exhibited in the « salon » of 1833 some landscapes which the critics pronounced to be too realistic; but he persevered in this style of painting till 1837, and became the founder of a school. From that period till 1848 he only contributed twice to the annual exhibitions (in 1840 and 1841), but since 1848 he has been a regular contributor. M. Cabat was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1867, and unanimously chosen Director, in Nov., 1878, of the French School of Painting at Rome.” (Thompson Cooper, Men of the Time, 1884)

When director of the Villa, a young artist, Henri Lucien Doucet (1856-1895), sent a piece considered too bold (scene of Harem) which entailed the non-renewal of Cabat at the head of the Villa.

Cabat is considered a self-educated artist like his friend of early days, Charles Jacque. “Charles Jacque had first been introduced to these Old Masters early in his career (he was 17 years old in 1830) when Louis Cabat, then a young porcelain painter who lived next door to Jacque (passage Saint-Antoine), took him to the Bibliothèque Nationale where they looked at prints by or after the work of Poussin, Lorrain, Dürer, and Rembrandt.” (Rehs Gallery)

PWT 04-2018 Louis Cabat

18.01.2018 PWT 03-2018 Doris Ulmann

Doris Ulmann’s position in history of photography keeps improving.

Born in 1882 in the Upper East side of Manhattan, she received intellectual and artistic formation from Felix Adler and Clarence White.

She was so rich and educated, she wound finally find harmony in her life frequenting the poor and the remote Southern communities with her camera after the mid 1920s, visiting South Carolina swamps in the Great Depression days on some luxurious chevrolet.

An independant character, she build her artistic life in then virgin directions, long before public surveys of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) , but was invited for dinner at the White House in March 1934 to show and report to the President and Mrs Roosevelt her work together with her companion John Jacob Niles.

Before she passed away in August 1934, she wrote her will in favor of institutions, communities and companions, for the great concern of her wealthy family who accepted nevertheless to negociate a fair agreement.

PWT 03-2018 Doris Ulmann

Niles on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YIp0h7PIlo&list=PLA8pF1W70izQfW0c8PKJ88CmHVVdi7dj5&index=9


Eternal return, also known as eternal recurrence, is a concept that the universe and all existence and energy has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept is found in ancient philosophy and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics (see Heraclitus).

Eternal Return of Collecting,

The action of collecting and transmitting can be explored through Deleuze postmodernist interpretation:

« According to Nietzsche the eternal return is in no sense a thought of the identical but rather a thought of synthesis, a thought of the absolutely different. — It is not the ‘same’ or the ‘one’ which comes back in the eternal return but return is itself the one which ought to belong to diversity and to that which differs.

The eternal return within collecting is surely not the recurrence of the same.
“…it is the recurrence of difference, of difference itself. The future will reveal itself to be the eternal return; and in the return will be found the affirmation of difference that is Deleuze’s Nietzschean spirit. Deleuze’s definition of the eternal return is obscure: “Return is the being of that which becomes. Return is the being of becoming itself, the being which is affirmed in becoming”. (Cf. Milan Urošević, Gilles Deleuze-An Introduction).

The “List of collectables” article on English wikipedia is a pleasant reading, we shoud add an old Greek quote: “If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” (Heraclitus)

PWT 01-2018 Eternal Return


04.01.2018 PWT 1-2018: Last Chance to Square the Circle of the Art Market ?

“Squaring the circle is a problem proposed by ancient geometers. It is the challenge of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge.

In 1882, the task was proven to be impossible, as a consequence of the Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem which proves that pi (π) is a transcendental, rather than an algebraic irrational number; that is, it is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients. Approximate squaring to any given non-perfect accuracy, in contrast, is possible in a finite number of steps, since there are rational numbers arbitrarily close to π.

The expression « squaring the circle » is sometimes used as a metaphor for trying to do the impossible.” (Wikipedia)

178 years ago, the invention of photography opened the way to create images and also to reproduce art, giving access to the multitude, promoting the frame of a market. Photography also gave more and more freedom to the artists, allowing pictorial documentation and proof of ephemeral installations.

Now we are engaged in a great technological revolution, testing whether photography and art on paper or any archive so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure… (follow on page 25)

PWT 01-2018 Squaring the Circle

A modest 2018 New Year address (Tribute to the 1863 Gettysburg Address)

Eight scores and eighteen years ago our fathers brought forth on this world, a new invention, patiently conceived on several occasions and in several locations, and dedicated to the proposition that all men can create images.

Now we are engaged in a great technological revolution, testing whether those archives on metal and paper or any archive so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We have reached a great battlefield of that revolution.

We have come to a situation where libraries and museums, many, will soon close or deaccess their collections soon after they have been digitally preserved.

For many in charge, it is altogether fitting and proper that they should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not control—we can not organize—we can not understand—the consequences of that dematerialization of our culture.

The brave artists and curators, living and dead, who struggled here, have created this grand legacy, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored creators we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these pictures shall not have been created in vain —that this material baggage, shall have a future — and that the cultural heritage of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

28.12.2017 PWT 52-2017 Albumen Metamorphosis: Ink Wash Drawings of Victor Hugo Replicated

Weekly transmission 52-2017 presents:

Toilers of the Sea (Les Travailleurs de la mer), a novel by Victor Hugo

After Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup on 2 December 1851 and his failed attempt to organize the Republican resistance, Hugo escaped on 11 December by train from Paris to Brussels, dressed as a printing house worker with fake ID papers under the name of Lanvin. On 9 January 1852, his name is on the main list of “Procrits”.

On 5 August 1852, Hugo arrived from Brussels to Jersey, after a transit in London.

“Les Travailleurs de la mer », The Toilers of the Sea is a novel by Victor Hugo published in 1866. The book is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Hugo spent 15 years in exile. Hugo uses the setting of a small island community to transmute seemingly mundane events into drama of the highest calibre. Les Travailleurs de la Mer is set just after the Napoleonic Wars and deals with the impact of the Industrial Revolution upon the island.

The story concerns a Guernseyman named Gilliatt, a social outcast who falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner, Mess Lethierry. When Lethierry’s ship is wrecked on the Roches Douvres, a perilous reef, Deruchette promises to marry whoever can salvage the ship’s steam engine. Gilliatt eagerly volunteers, and the story follows his physical trials and tribulations (which include a battle with a Pieuvre, an octopus), as well as the undeserved opprobrium of his neighbours.”

This unpublished group of ink wash drawings replicas in albumen prints were made by Charles Michelez during Hugo’s life time, after his return to Paris, and after the celebrated illustrated edition of the Toilers of the Sea by François-Nicolas Chifflart (1869), with Deluxe copies where the drawings are reproduced in albumen prints.

More studies will precise what was the purpose of this “edition of one” of Hugo personal illustrations for his work, a few years before the gift of all his manuscripts and drawings to the BNF (1881) and the publication of the engravings by Fortuné Méaulle (1882).



Barbara Hutton was dubbed the « Poor Little Rich Girl »“Barbara Woolworth Hutton (November 14, 1912 – May 11, 1979) was an American debutante, socialite, heiress and philanthropist. She was dubbed the « Poor Little Rich Girl, » first when she was given a lavish and expensive debutante ball in 1930, amid the Great Depression, and later due to a notoriously troubled private life.Heiress to the retail tycoon Frank Winfield Woolworth, Hutton was one of the wealthiest women in the world.

PWT 51-2017 HUTTON. Les riches pleurent aussi

19.12.2017 Troisième exposition de la Galerie du Palace : Les Scaphandriers — I Palombari, dessins et céramiques de Luca Caimmi

INAUGURATION MARDI SOIR au Théâtre du Palace 8 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre le 19 DECEMBRE DE 19 a 21 heures, en présence de l’artiste.

Concert de la contrebassiste-interprète albanaise Linda Rrukaj.

Luca Caimmi est un un artiste marchigiano, natif de la province italienne des Marches. Il est né en 1978 à Fano, près de Senigallia, patrie de Mario Giacomelli. Il obtient ses premiers prix en 1998 à Urbino.

Quant aux céramiques, il bénéficie des initiatives exceptionnelles et du renouveau créatif animé par Gian Carlo Bojani, directeur passionné des Musei Civici de Pesaro.

Sono in spiaggia attirato da un getto d’ acqua verticale che ho intravisto dalla mia finestra.
Continuer la lecture de « 19.12.2017 Troisième exposition de la Galerie du Palace : Les Scaphandriers — I Palombari, dessins et céramiques de Luca Caimmi »


Ce vendredi est le dernier jour de l’exporistion « Mes Ethiopiques », Théâtre du Palace, 8 rue du Faubourd Montmartre (metro Grands Boulevards)

Les videos du vernissage sont en ligne (il suffit de cliquer)

Jean Dominique Penel : Parler autrement de Rimbaud (Présentation du film de Jean-Marc Boutonnet, 4 décembre 2017, extrait)

Fin de soirée : Vil Gilatte chante les voyages, les aventures des marins et en particulier Henri de Monfreid (Rock, guitare sèche).