In the wake of the humanist photographer Willy Ronis’s iconic series Ce jour là [On That Day], the editors of Blind is starting a new series of columns and have asked other artists to reveal the backstory to one of their photographs.
One night, during a provincial photo festival, Willy Ronis got up and began talking about his photos. Image after image, he explained where, how, and in what circumstances they were taken and what was happening at the decisive moment. The photographer and editor Claude Nori was sitting in the audience. “We must do a book!,” he told the speaker afterwards. In 2006, Willy Ronis’s book Ce jour-là [On That Day] was published by Mercure de France, bringing together stories and his most important photos.
Each photographer took time to describe in detail, in their own words, what led them to take the photograph. Each gives us a glimpse into how they approach shooting, what catches their eye, and the mood of the moment. To the reader, who might also be a photographer, this is an opportunity to walk alongside the artist, to lend an ear to their thoughts, hesitations, obsessions, and emotions. We can hear a singular voice telling us that photography’s silence is a repository of memory rarely expressed in words.
To pay tribute to Willy Ronis and to the voice of his friend outside the slide projection at the exhibition, we wanted to launch this series with Claude Nori and one of his most famous photographs, taken one day in November 1995...
By Coline Olsina & Jean-Baptiste Gauvin
On the cover : © John Towner on Unsplash