Ailleurs by Michel Beine

Michel Beine‘s little photobook “Ailleurs” appeared for the first time in 2005. It was republished in 2015 by ARP2 Editions and designed by Dojo Design. It contains 50 black and white photographs that were made during several wandering journeys in Morocco (2000-2005). ARP2 Editions defends the work of photography authors “who maintain a philosophical, documentary or – like in the case of Michel Beine – poetic relationship with the landscape.” In the true spirit of Arthur (life is elsewhere) Rimbaud, Beine reveals a poetic and sensuous vision of a poor and – for me – exotic country.

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© Michel Beine

While focussing on the state of decay and poverty in which post-colonial Morocco has to find itself nowadays, Beine recalls the style of the American road photographers who documented the gloomy, empoverished side of the USA. We often see traces of modernity that do not offer any longer their initial promise of a better future.

But the work is also an invitation to the addictive state of mind of someone who is travelling to a place which is called “ailleurs” (elsewhere).

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© Michel Beine

He invites us to take our time to enjoy with him the reflexions of the sun in a hotel lounge (Tanger and Casablanca), the remembrance of a boy’s phantasy emanating from a forgotten toy train, the beautiful fond of the lettres of a petrol pump, the luxury of a dusty hotel room with a view on the vivid port of Inezgane.

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© Michel Beine

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© Michel Beine

 

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© Michel Beine

The addictive state of mind of the traveller takes hold of the reader as well. It feels good to be in Beine’s “elsewhere”, in his vision of North-Africa. Fortunately, in the absence of a better future, we can always go “ailleurs” and adopt the soothing visions of great photobooks.