10 janeiro, 2008


Richard Burton e Elizabeth Taylor num bar durante a rodagem de Becket, Shepperton, Inglaterra, 1963
Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos)

A Magnum está a comemorar o seu 60º aniversário. Uma das iniciativas que marca a efeméride da maior agência de fotojornalismo do mundo passa pela publicação do livro Magnum, Magnum, onde estão representados 69 fotógrafos da cooperativa. As 6 imagens de cada um foram seleccionadas e comentadas por outro membro da agência.

Elliott Erwitt escreveu sobre Eve Arnold. O texto é este:

If you were asked to conjure up a seasoned journalist-photographer who has travelled extensively, worked in the most difficult and remote parts of our globe, managed to penetrate and be accepted in exotic cultures at one time, and then average or even banal, familiar ones right afterward, all the while observing and recording with great heart and sympathy the manifestations of our human condition, you would surely come up with the legendary Eve Arnold ... a very big person in a very compact package.

Eve Arnold is the quintessential journalist. Or better, she is what the quintessential photojournalist should be. That is, a curious, visual person, the inconspicuous fly on the wall observing situations without participating in them or attracting attention, opinionated but not judgmental.

I have known Eve as a suburban wife and doting mother in the Long Island exurbs fifty miles from New York City, where she lived years ago, and as a literary person and author of many fine works, now based in her sublime, book-lined London apartment. But I know her especially as the intrepid, highly energetic photographer and colleague, producing picture story after picture story, and picture book after picture book, and as a pillar of our Magnum Photos cooperative. In all of Eve's work, as with her person, the special ability has been getting close to her subjects - often becoming a trusted friend, regardless of their caste or fame, while always maintaining the dignity that permeates her character.

Eve Arnold's legacy is as varied as it is fascinating. It is hard to fathom how one person's work can be so diverse. It covers the humblest to the most exalted, the meanest to the kindest, and everything in between. The subjects are all there in Eve Arnold's photographs and they are treated with intelligence, consideration and sympathy. Most important is Eve's ability to visually communicate her concerns directly, without fanfare or pretence, in the best humanistic tradition.

Elliott Erwitt

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