On the occasion of the centenary of his birth and the exhibition at the Musée des Confluences, this retrospective book bears witness to the abundance of his work and to the singular, empathetic way in which Marc Riboud looks at the world. It presents previously unpublished images, notably his very first ones taken in the Alps in the 1940s and others taken in the streets of New York in the early 1950s. From the photographs taken during his travels from the Orient to Alaska, to those of the 2000s, almost pictorial, they reveal all the strength of composition and the harmony of forms that emerge from the images of this exceptional photographer.
Finding order in disorder, walking to look and keeping an eye open to all the surprises: Marc Riboud has surveyed the planet for more than sixty years. From the old Europe of the 1950s, with its working class suburbs and popular dances, to the landscapes of distant Asia, passing through the frozen plains of Alaska or the deserts of China, the photographer captures «the right image». Born in Lyon, Riboud began his great journey around the world at the age of thirty: Great Britain, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, the United States, Cuba, Vietnam, Russia, Alaska… Understanding the world requires careful observation and to form an opinion, the photographer went to places where societies were changing: the 1954 dockers’ strike in Great Britain, Algeria during its independence in 1962, North Vietnam in 1975, the crowds of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, not forgetting the metamorphoses of China, Ghana, Japan… «Photography cannot change the world, but it can show it when it changes,» he said. His images are as many encounters with other peoples as they are invitations to discover the beauty of elsewhere. Along the dusty or snowy roads, a science of framing and a search for harmony are outlined. «I take my hat off to the geometric and sensitive Marc,» said his friend Henri Cartier-Bresson.
To accompagny this visual journey, several contact sheets open the book and give us some keys to his approach to the subject. A text, conceived as a poem, by the journalist and writer, Éric Fottorino, recounts both the life and the work, completed by an illustrated biography.