Solo exhibition of Cartier-Bresson opens in Baku

By Nigar Orujova

"Paris", a private exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson, opened in Baku on May 26.

The exhibition of one of the most eminent photographers of the 20th century was held at the Heydar Aliyev Center.

Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev, prominent culture and art public figures, and representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan attended the opening ceremony.

Opening the exhibition, Head of "Magnum Photos" Agency Clement Saccomani addressed the audience, saying that he was proud the exhibition was organized at the Heydar Aliyev Center, a unique piece of architecture.

"We can see that such a grand piece of architecture unites different cultures. We are proud that we can see Bresson's exhibition 'Paris' here with you," Saccomani said.

Over 80 works taken in different years on various themes will be put on display at the exhibition until July 27.

Saccomani stressed that the exhibition was a journey into the 70-year history of Paris and that visitors would have a chance to walk in the French capital by familiarizing with the works presented at the exhibition.

"Henri Cartier-Bresson said "To photograph it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart." Watching his works devoted to Paris means going on a little walk, and I hope that the number of travelers will be large. Henri Cartier-Bresson has performed as an actor and a witness of our lives, an observer, a journalist, and an ordinary citizen in Paris. He's played the role of a bridge between the observer and the person under observation," he highlighted.

It was noted that the exhibition also demonstrated the expansion of relations between France and Azerbaijan.

"I am sure that today's show is a beautiful symbol of the shortness of distance between France and Azerbaijan. This is at the same time a great opportunity to showcase convergence and the tolerant relations between the two nations," Saccomani said.

He noted that Cartier-Bresson visited Azerbaijan 40 years ago to know Azerbaijan better and captured this wonderful land with the help of his camera.

Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour, and Robert Capa were the founders of the influential photo agency "Magnum Photos".

"Ours current visit to Azerbaijan and our desire to carry out projects in the field of photography, education and culture results from the will of one of the founders of our agency, Henri Cartier-Bresson," Saccomani said.

Saccomani also presented Cartier-Bresson's photo album to Leyla Aliyeva.

The Magnum Agency also intends to work together with the young photographers of the "YARAT! Contemporary Art Space" and covers the preparatory work for the first European games which will be held in Baku in 2015.

Born in the French town of Chanteloup-en-Brie, Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is considered the founder of photojournalism, and one of the most original, accomplished, influential figures in the history of photography.

In his works, Cartier-Bresson pays great attention to the time and the "decisive moment". His works are presented in many museum collections around the world.