Jean Gaumy, the man of the sea to whom we owe memorable images of life on trawlers, surprises everyone by publishing this book: D’Après Nature presents 42 black and white landscapes taken during excursions and climbs in mountainous sites in Piedmont and the French Pyrenees.
The man never appears, but his presence is evident in the traces he leaves behind: a path, a downed tree, a barn.
D’Après Nature is a document of geological time, an evolutionary history from which human beings are intentionally excluded.
The sequence of beautifully printed large-format images concludes with two significant passages from René Daumal’s Mont Analogue, one of which states: “Hollow men dwell in stone, where they circulate like wandering caves. In the ice they walk like man-shaped bubbles. But they do not venture into the air, for the wind would carry them away. Some say that they always were and always will be. Others say that every living man has in the mountain his hollow man, as the sword has its scabbard, as the foot has its footprint, and that, at the time of death, they reunite.”