Elger Esser: How To See Venice, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2002 Elger Esser: How To See Venice, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2002
Elger Esser: How To See Venice, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2002

Elger Esser How To See Venice

20 November—21 December 2002
Paris Marais
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Overview

In the latter series, Elger Esser invites us on a literary journey in the footsteps of Maupassant and Flaubert.

 

After a solo exhibition of Elger Esser's work last year in Salzburg, we are pleased to present in Paris two new series of photographs: one taking a fresh look at the Venetian lagoon and the other, a set of ten photographs of Cap d'Antifer near Etretat. In the latter series, Elger Esser invites us on a literary journey in the footsteps of Maupassant and Flaubert. In his great unfinished satire on human stupidity, Bouvard and Pécuchet, published a year after his death in 1881, Flaubert sends his two heroes to the coast between Le Havre and Fécamp. The coast, which is distinguished by its spectacular rock formations, leads them to debate geology - only to fail miserably. As the founder of the realist novel, Flaubert, for this excerpt, did not want to be satisfied with any one place on the coast; he preferred a place of action that actually existed. This is why he invited Maupassant, his friend and literary...

After a solo exhibition of Elger Esser's work last year in Salzburg, we are pleased to present in Paris two new series of photographs: one taking a fresh look at the Venetian lagoon and the other, a set of ten photographs of Cap d'Antifer near Etretat.

In the latter series, Elger Esser invites us on a literary journey in the footsteps of Maupassant and Flaubert. In his great unfinished satire on human stupidity, Bouvard and Pécuchet, published a year after his death in 1881, Flaubert sends his two heroes to the coast between Le Havre and Fécamp. The coast, which is distinguished by its spectacular rock formations, leads them to debate geology - only to fail miserably.

As the founder of the realist novel, Flaubert, for this excerpt, did not want to be satisfied with any one place on the coast; he preferred a place of action that actually existed. This is why he invited Maupassant, his friend and literary disciple, a native of the same Normandy region, to suggest a suitable location and describe it to him in great detail. Maupassant did this by delivering not only words but also sketches: the cliffs between the Cap d'Antifer were accurately drawn, as well as comments on how to reach them according to low or rising tide.

130 years later Elger Esser follows Maupassant's meticulous description with the help of a large-format chamber. His Cap d'Antifer - Etretat series consists of impressive photographs of this magnificent corner of nature, which was already highly esteemed in the 19th and early 20th centuries by painters such as Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, via Courbet, Monet and as far as Duchamp.


A book, published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, with a preface by the German philosopher Peter Foos, contains excerpts from the 1877 correspondence between Flaubert and Maupassant as well as sketches, in association with photographs by Elger Esser and a description of the path to be followed.


Elger Esser, born in 1967, was one of Becher's youngest pupils at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf. He lives in Düsseldorf.

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