Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Pompidou Centre

“The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”  Henri Cartier-Bresson

«Photographier c’est mettre sur la même ligne de mire la tête, l’oeil et le coeur.» To photograph is to put the head, the eye and the heart in the same line of vision.cartier_bresson_03Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004), a French photographer considered to be the father of photojournalism. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the street photography or life reportage style that has influenced generations of photographers who followed.

I’ve been admiring this black and white print of his, entitled En Brie, on my apartment wall for 16 years.  Just had it re-framed it last week.bressonOpening today, February 12, 2014, at the Pompidou Centre is a retrospective of his career. More than 350 photographs, films, documents and other archives will be on display until June 9, 2014.

Pompidou Centre

Monique sept 2013 Paris 012The centre is a complex in the heart of Paris bordering Les Halles and the Marais.Monique sept 2013 Paris 014It houses a vast public library, the largest modern art museum in Europe and IRCAM, a facility for music and acoustic research. Named after a President of the French Republic from 1969 to 1974, Georges Pompidou, the Centre has received over 150 million visitors since it opened in 1977.Monique sept 2013 Paris 008
This is where my friend Monique lives and where I went last Sunday.Monique sept 2013 Paris 013There’s a great creperie overlooking this Stravinsky Fountain, however it’s not as good as the best creperie in Paris (in the Marais) which I wrote about in my winter posts (see January or February.)Monique sept 2013 Paris 020Below is La Maison de la Poésie and journalists talking to Canadian poet-author, Michael Ondaatje.Monique sept 2013 Paris 021The most interesting part of that literary festival last Sunday was listening to Ishmael Beah, a child soldier during the Sierra Leone civil war.  Abducted by Sierra Leonean rebels, he was forced to fight alongside them in the bush.  He wrote a book called “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier”.  After his parents and two brothers were killed, he was rescued by UNICEF and eventually adopted by a Jewish woman in Brooklyn, New York.  Here’s the link to his foundation: