“Bordeaux, Best Destination”

In his book Berlin Childhood Around 1900, Walter Benjamin writes that in order to know the melancholy of a city you must have been a child there, and adds: “Do not find your way in a city. It does not mean much. But wandering in a city like you would in a forest requires an entire education”.

Wandering your own city’s streets in order to meet Photography, preferably not of the mundane or syrupy kind…But rather, more intimate Photography, linked to childhood memories, and relying on analogies. The idea here is not about showing the city itself, but to capture its humanity through the details, with an ironic outlook, even desperate at times…And, therefore, melancholic.

We’re still rooted in reality, more than ever, but the view is more expressive, sensual. Here we are in the fortuitous encounter of the Photographer and the apparition of Photography— an epiphany. One can ask himself, as does Garry Winogrand:

“It’s not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”

As if each image was telling its own story. The most interesting thing to me in the act of photographing is that it is totally related to contingency, which is what I find makes it most unique.

Philippe Taris, June 2018

Philippe Taris

Philippe Taris was born in Bordeaux, France.
He discovered photography at 18 through Henri Cartier Bresson’s work in Spain and Mexico, prior to the onset of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s:

“It was a real aesthetic shock, his street work emitted a feeling of well being and proximity with his subjects.”

Taris soon after became a photojournalist himself, and helped create the City Magazine Bordeaux-Actualités in 1981. From 1983 to 2017 he was a Staff Photographer at the daily French newspaper Sud-Ouest, the third largest regional daily in the country, for which he has covered a wide range of subjects. In the last ten years, Taris focused on religious and mystical practices in Spain and Italy. This body of work led to the publication of Espagne Illuminée in 2017.



Somalia 92, Exhibition at the Cultural Center of Villeneuve sur Lot, France


Réels, Fictions, Virtuel, Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles, Contact Sheets and Photographs of the 1995 Social Movements in France


Canon Press Photo Award  for a photograph  of the oil spill caused by the wreck of tanker “Prestige” off the Spanish Coast in Muxia


Melancholia, Outdoor Exhibition of Black & White prints (Turkey, Cuba, Argentina), Palaiseau, France





"Bordeaux, Best Destination"

In his book Berlin Childhood Around 1900, Walter Benjamin writes that in order to know the melancholy of a city [...]