Ailleurs by Michel Beine

Michel Beine‘s little photobook “Ailleurs” appeared in 2005 for the first time on the shelves of the bookshop. 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 brings us a poetic and sensuous vision of a poor and – for us – exotic country.

Michel-Beinep0110921

© Michel Beine

The work is a dangerous invitation to the addictive state of mind of someone who is travelling to a place which is called “ailleurs” (elsewhere) but he does not force us to take over his vision. Indeed, for the reader, it’s an open and free invitation to Northern Africa.

Beine’s travelogue style reminds us of Bernard Plossu‘s work but Beine does not flirt with the poetic vagueness which became Plossu’s trademark. Beine is also not so much a prolefic and fast photographer like Plossu who shares with us the speed of his life and impressions.

beine1

© Michel Beine

Rather, 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.

pompstation beine

© Michel Beine

beine13

© Michel Beine

While focussing on the state of decay and poverty in which post-colonial Morocco has to find itself nowadays, Beine also 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.

beine7

© Michel Beine

Fortunately, in the absence of a better future, we can always go “ailleurs” and follow the visions of great artists.

Thank you very much Mr. Beine!