Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Agence MYOP, Sine Die: March 16 - May 11, 2020, André Frère Éditions, Marseille, France, 2020

This is a powerful photographic book that evolved in response to the imposition of the Covid-19 lockdown in France in 2020. The accordion is made up of works by 19 photographers from the agence MYOP group, and was designed under the artistic direction of Pierre Hybre, Stephane Lagoutte and Jean Larive, accompanied with an introductory essay by Michel Poivert. The sine die of the title (meaning: without any future date indicated) only serves to emphasize our then collective nervousness about this dangerous new virus, and how long it would be with us.

I'll let the statement on the inside flap of this book introduce its theme and how these photographs came to be created during the first 56 days of the lockdown:

"Ever since the lockdown was announced in France on March 16, 2020, photographers of the agence MYOP have felt the need to document this historic 

For the whole 56 day duration, highly sensitive to the impact of Covid-19 on our environments, we photographed the parts of the country where we were locked 
in and restrained. Every day, the pictures we shot were pasted on our Instagram account, putting together online of 465 images reproduced on the back of the Leporello.

From this corpus we have selected 56 pictures, one per day, creating a new chronology of this period where the horizon disappeared. Michel Poivert has drawn free inspiration from them to write a series of antilegnedes."

On the side of the accordion with the 56 photographs there is a real sense of dislocation, of people isolated and confined, and the outside with its empty streets and everyone trying to adjust to the new 'space' of the virus. The variety of images brush up against each other in their depictions of this new environment and together they create a poignant momento to those early days of the pandemic.

The reverse side of the book has small reproductions of all 465 images shot during the 56 day time period, as well as a listing documenting the credits for each photograph (photographer/title/location)

59 double-sided pages, individually 8.5' x 6.25" and when fully extended 31ft 11.5".

reverse side

back cover

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