Sunday, April 18, 2010

" preserve life in the act of living." Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine's Legs, 1968

Henri Cartier-Bresson, In a Train, Romania, 1975

This weekend has been equal parts cold and beautiful. I walked around the East Village today and sat under a flowering tree, it rained petals down on my head. A lady was painting a pretty picture of Stuyvesant Park. I watched her as I blew hot air on my hands, shoving them back into my spring jacket. Because of the chill in the air it was peaceful with only birds and squirrels in mass attendance.

Last weekend I was in Bryant Park, after hitting up the newly hung Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at the MOMA. It was warm, full to the brim with people, people all sitting around in their metal chairs, staring into the bright green of the closed off lawn that is still seeding and is just waiting to be lied on. Old Italian men and their apprentices were playing a pick up game of Bocce and the metal balls glimmered in the bright daylight as they rolled to a stop in the dust. And the park was a world of long shadows as the sun sank behind the green canopy of trees and the tall surrounding city. I was thinking about Bresson's still moments. The moments he caught and preserved forever in black and white prints that are now hanging in a white room for passing people to stare at and question. Question the faces, their still laughter, their lives and what became of them. "It is through living we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us" I had read on the wall that afternoon (Bresson, 1952). If I could have taken home any of the prints from the show In a train and Martine's Legs would go nicely together.