PHYLLIS ODESSEY

the great walls of labruguiere

img_4072 Arthur Batut started taking pictures with his camera attached to a kite as early as 1858.  Labruguiere, France is home to the Arthur Batut Museum.  For the last nine years, the Museum has sponsored the Open Air Festival.  This festival prints photographs on aluminium panels and hangs them throughout the town of Labruguiere.

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self-portrait of Arthur Batut, and his photographic kite.

This year, the exhibition, entitled “The Soul Revealed” is by photographer Sabine Weiss.  “I don’t like things that are too bright but rather simplicity…I photograph to preserve the ephemeral, to fix a coincidence, to keep an image of what is intended to disappear: gestures, attitudes, objects that are the evidence of our passing.  The camera gathers them…” 

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Labruguiere is a funny town.  Some of its most charming streets are dead streets, meaning there are beautiful old buildings which are mostly unoccupied. There is no street life on these cobbled pathways.   The people who run the Arthur Batut Museum and also live in the town have found a way to get residents and visitors to walk around their town, not only to see some amazing photographs, but re-access how to bring life to a nearly deserted area.

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