Atget Revisited

Peter Marshall

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Atget photographed Paris for around thirty years, producing pictures that he described as `documents for artists'.

The best book to read to gain an understanding of this work is Molly Nesbitt's Atget's Seven
Yale, 1992.

Atget was not a naive artist, his approach was rooted in popular French culture; it was artisanal rather than elitist. Although adopting many of the conventions demanded by the markets for which he worked - such as upright verticals - he had his own ideas on how things should be done and applied these with a resolute intransigence. In part these were related to his extreme left wing views and also to a feeling that French culture was under threat.

In 1983-4 I studied Atget's published output and determined to carry out my own project based on his work, photographing the same places that he had photographed and working with some of the ideas that had infused his work. The picture is from that series, exhibited as `Paris Revisited - A Homage to Atget'.

This article is a brief summary of my presentation to the LIP Central meeting in October

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