The great French magazine ZOOM is an expansive reference library of creative images. This feature of works by the prolific man of arts and letters, Pierre Bourgeade is a classic example. An ancestor of the canonized 17th century playwright Jean Racine, he was a giant in his own standing. As a writer of plays, poetry and crime novels, and as we see here a photographer, he explores both the immediacy of our animal nature and the frustrations of mans inability to know himself with a great and and very french sense of style.
We have translated the introduction by Zoom editor Michel Caen to give you an idea of the high regard he was held in by his compatriots.
‘To remain in the field of euphemisms, I would gladly say contemporary French literature very rarely triggers enthusiasm in me. If I had to be more precise, it would be possible – not without great difficulty – to identify about fifteen representatives, whose work I am able to read, from start to finish and without forcing myself to. Out of that small amount, i could isolate without hesitation 5 or 6 authors for whom i have more than admiration. Pierre Bourgeade belongs to this private club for which only the purveyors of my ideal library have access to. I met him, in a literary way, in 1966 when he was publishing Les Immortelles at Gallimard, a collection of rather troubling stories which adapted for the theatre scene at the occasion of the 5th Biennale de Paris, would bring actress Rita Renoir to reveal more than her anatomy. Novels, plays, essays or journalism, I attached thereafter a particular importance to those works. From La Rose Rose to Orden, from New York Party to Deutsches Requiem, I was unable to shift my focus from Bourgeade, whom I finally managed to meet, because we had, among other things, a few essential interests in common. The image was among them. One day, we decided to eventually do some work for “Zoom” – we didn’t know when or how, but sometimes Bourgeade would think about it and I waited for his suggestions. Today, it is in the occasion of his next publication at Gallimard, L’Aurore Boréale, that Bourgeade gave us a short excerpt of this text with a few snapshots taken by him, just for fun, that are visibly linked to the text but do not serve as “immediate” illustrations. With the intention of preserving those documents, respecting their anecdotal nature and scribble pad aspect, we have reproduced those snapshots based on the photocopies Bourgeade had given us. At the latest new, Bourgeade was preparing a feature film – “a cannibal love story”. It could not be more logical.’ –MC