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Friday, January 4, 2013
Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugene Atget's Paris by Christopher Rauschenberg
When I was a kid, I loved games that involved spotting the difference in two nearly-identical pictures. I've discovered that it's still fun, because that's what it's like perusing Paris Changing. It's a coffee table book that pairs photos taken by Eugene Atget in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the same shots taken by Christopher Rauschenberg in 1998.
Atget's photos are atmospheric, emphasizing light and space, while Rauschenberg's capture texture: carved stone above a doorway; bark on a tree; flaking paint on a windowsill. It's a pleasure to compare their respective ways of looking at the City of Light, as well as to study the changes wrought by the passage of time.