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Show and Tell: Bruno Rosier

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Clockwise from top left: Egypt, Giza 1953; Egypt, Giza 1997; United States, New York 1993; United States, New York 19--  

While perusing a Parisian flea market, photographer Bruno Rosier came across a set of mid-century photographs of a man (identified only as “R.T.”) standing in front of famous landscapes and monuments—“very tourist, very typical places”—from Egypt to Uruguay to Greece. With the help of a grant from the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Rosier then traveled the globe re-creating all 25 of these banal snapshots, down to the centrally posed and often badly framed figures. He started with the view from the Brooklyn Bridge, pre-9/11 (“I returned this week, to make another work without the World Trade Center,” Rosier says, adding, “Thirty years in the future, another photographer must do the same tour”). The result is a weird sort of déjà vu, a phenomenon that’s been attributed to everything from a simple cognitive glitch to an attempt to repeat a past life. But in Rosier’s show at Aperture gallery and the accompanying book, the original, selfish reason for taking the picture—capturing that “I was here” moment—is elevated to a collective memory. Look, Rosier seems to be saying, He was here, I was here. And you, too, have been here before.


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