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Photography Exhibition

Jacques Bisceglia – Vision of Feelings

Photographe de Jazz (1940-2013)

Don Cherry and Jacques Bisceglia, November 1964, Montrouge
Don Cherry and Jacques Bisceglia, November 1964, Montrouge © DR

Jacques Bisceglia is trouble. At the very least he’s troubling. He is inscrutable, multi-faceted, elusive. He was born when everything seemed on the brink of collapse, and he won’t be caught putting all his eggs in the same basket – he’d rather use a good dozen of them. Crime novel critic, Parisian bouquiniste selling used books by the Seine, pataphysical man, concert photographer, France Musique producer, a genius of a strapping fellow-cum-pianist impresario with quite an impressive experience with underground labels… and literal underground mazes. Under his belt, Bisceglia has a vast number of things – Hopi Indians, Alan Silva’s double bass, the golden legend of jazz, a highly subtle sense of humor, and the three letters BYG. The list of his accomplishments and passions would hardly fit on a plaque, should one decide to erect a monument to a monument. Which would no doubt provoke the tautological wrath of the Gods. The whole thing spells trouble – didn’t I say so? However, what’s really not a problem is that Bisceglia has a fantastic eye. His outlook manages to unite everything – and reconcile you with the reality he’s photographing. When he frames it, reality is troubling: it won’t let itself be seized at once. Among the thousands of outstanding pictures documenting jazz and especially the golden age of Free Jazz, one was taken at the Algiers Pan-African Festival. Archie Shepp bellows in a microphone which structures both the musical piece and the visual scene. Grachan Moncur III is wrapped up in his own sound; Clifford Thorton listens carefully, patiently hovering in the background. On every side, something unusual meets the eye. On the left, Sunny Murray doesn’t hold back, he almost looks like a rock musician. On the left, Alan Silva stares amusedly at the scene;  benevolent and brotherly, he takes in these contradictory yet complementary individual energies. The very essence of Free Jazz appears in the flow of these combined energies. Individual egos are vaporized, transcended, and coalesce into collective sound. Foreshadowing the way the rest of us now look at this scene, Jacques Bisceglia faced them that day when he shot a scene amounting to an equation, solving intuitively, in a single take, the issue with this powerful picture.

This exhibition is postponed to 2022
Espace Culturel André Malraux (ECAM)
Le Kremlin-Bicêtre | Entrée libre