12 dezembro, 2007


Hamburgo, Alemanha, 2003
(© Antoine d'Agata)

Mais um texto retirado do livro Magnum, Magnum. Desta vez Patrick Zachmann escreve sobre Antoine d'Agata, que passou recentemente pela Galeria [kameraphoto].

I like the idea that Antoine d'Agata is part of the 'Magnum family', because there is nothing more stimulating than trying to make photographers fit in who don't conform to the usual image of our venerable agency. Nothing could be more boring than accepting a new photographer who is a clone of ourselves.

When I saw Antoine's work for the first time, I had a shock. I had become saturated with photography in general, which I found repetitive and limited. I had tried other formats - square, panoramic, colour, then cinema - all in an attempt to escape boredom or repetition. Suddenly, Antoine's work proved to me that with photography you could still surprise and move people.

I really loved these photos that brought me into the world of the night.
I found them unique, moving, sensual, brutal, sometimes even shocking, wavering between desire, pleasure and suffering - one moment attracting us to desirable bodies or exciting situations, and the next to something we have no reason to desire.

D'Agata spares us nothing, and he spares himself nothing. He seems to photograph everything he experiences, in its entirety, to excess. He puts himself in danger and takes photos at moments when most of us would have given up. You cannot tell where the private ends and the professional begins. This is what drives most photographers, in a constant to and fro between the inner world and the outer world. His work shows a need to speak, to show, to reveal oneself, to cry out - a sense of urgency, as if our existence was threatened.

Henri Cartier-Bresson claimed that one has to step back from reality and become invisible. Robert Capa said you have to get so close to your subject that you feel fear. As for D'Agata, while he belongs perfectly properly to the tradition of reportage, he gets close enough to his subjects to make them blurred, and even includes himself in some pictures, as if to show that to leave oneself out would be a delusion.

Whether it is the work of a photographer, painter or film-maker, a work of art makes sense and touches me when it bears traces of the artist's self-portrait.

Patrick Zachmann

Nuevo Laredo, México, 1998
(© Antoine d'Agata)

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