03.2009 | Landmasses and Railways, review in FOAM Magazine #18 |

By Sebastian Hau.

Bertrand Fleuret has published his second book at the small, Atlanta-based publisher J&L Books, and it’s another daring exploration of travel and mystery. It’s a medium-format book, comparable to his debut, in black-and-white, in which a cascade of images washes away most of what you’ve seen before. Surely Fleuret has his inspirations in photography (as diverse as Lee Friedlander and Moriyama Daido), but as listed most interestingly on his webpage, they also spring from literature and and graphic novels. The quote by Paul Bowles at the beginning hints at Fleuret’s intention to create from his travels (across Europe this time) a book that leads the viewer into an imaginery country, with five chapters from departure to the arrival at a garden (which turns out to be fields, meadows and scrub). One is guided on this journey by trusting Fleuret’s chain of associations, trusting his curiosity, and his Winogrand-like inquisitiveness as to what a camera can do and cannot. He seems to be straining to turn the camera into an idiosyncratic thing that doesn’t simply spit out rational, readable, nor poetical pictures, but rather images of mental and bodily experiences of travel, of displacing oneself, of falling and flying.

© Sebastian Hau and FOAM Magazine