Thursday, December 9, 2010

Georges Perec

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is now featuring an exhibit with photographers that work without a camera. Instead, they create images on photographic paper by casting shadows and manipulating light, or by chemically treating the surface of the paper.

One of the featured works by photographer Pierre Cordier is inspired by Georges Perec. Godine published the first English translation of Perec's masterpiece, Life: A User's Manual, over twenty years ago.

Pierre Cordier, Chemigram 31/7/01 Hommage à Georges Perec, 2001

Life: A User’s Manual tells the story of a Paris apartment building and its inhabitants. In this piece, the apartments form a 10 x 10 grid, which serves as the structure of the book’s narrative. Each is dealt with according to the moves made in the ‘knight’s tour’, a chess-based mathematical problem in which the knight must visit each square exactly once.

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