My first camera, rudimentary, I bought it when I was fourteen years old, on a trip to Portugal, in Lisbon, in the summer of 1967. Through the viewfinder, I saw everything as a picture, a painting. I kept portraying my brothers and friends, photographing landscapes and urban architectures. I bought my first reflex camera in Melilla, on the way to Algiers, in the summer of 1978, and I took it across all North of Africa, to Turkey; after that, I changed it for another one, which continued to accompany me through Africa, Cuba, the countries of Southeast Asia, the Philippines … It died in Nepal in 2001, coming from India; in the Annapurna jungle, on top of the mountain, by the photoelectric cell: death by water. From 2008, I started taking studio photos; I don’t travel that much anymore, and I made one at home. Until then, all my photos had been those of a flâneur; the eye-camera wandering aimlessly through the cities of the world.
I see myself being five years old, I am watching the boy looking at the child in the great mirror hanging in the dressing room of my father’s tailor shop, in the dim light of that room. The brightness of the child’s eyes, vibrating like the old gold that framed that mise en abyme. I dreamed of the quicksilver and moon horn doors of the mirror opening for me, and I would jump in and merge with my double. I keep seeing myself, here and now, watching me looking through the camera lens. The Artist, a polyhedral Narcissus, is unable to get out of himself; always, in his other image and unique.
Tragic myth or pleasant myth, simulation of death for Barthes, ritual of death and life, photography is also resurrection. Photography lives in the gaze: I see you: memory of light. Space and time barely survive. To look is to perceive the duration. There is no other time recovered. There is no other eternity.