View From the Laboratory, by Daido Moriyama


In the early 1990s Daido Moriyama published a photo book titled Letter à St. Loup, which as indicated by the title was a spiritual homage to the village of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes in France, although the actual images were shot far from there. Saint-Loup-de-Varennes can be considered the birthplace of photography, for it was here that Nicéphore Niépce in 1827 took what survives today (at the University of Texas) as the first recorded photograph.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, in 2008 Moriyama was finally able to visit this village for himself. The photographs collected in this book are the result of that visit as Moriyama work walks through the town and visits the Musée Nicéphore-Niépce which preserves much of Niépce's tools and equipment.

As Moriyama writes in the afterword,

By standing at the same window as Niépce at his maison work room in St. Loup, somewhere in the corners of my mind I felt that my existence as a photographer had been validated. There is no doubt in my mind that this was due to the fact that I was able to experience the radiant light of summer with camera in hand, in that sacred site known as Saint-Loup-de-Varennes.

Nominated by photo book designer Satoshi Machiguchi for a Fotobookfestival Photobook Award for 2013.

Hardcover, in slipcase. 84 pages. Afterword by Moriyama in Japanese and English. Published in 2013.

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