Henri Cartier-Bresson Compile Bibliography Cartier-Bresson Research Paper

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Taking a look at this statement, it is easy to understand that the most important value that Bresson wished to convey was photography itself. His words make us understand that photography is not a mere recording of what happens outside of you. On the contrary, it is a very mental process and a life style. According to the artist, this particular means of expression allows you not only to discover the world, but to discover the self at the same time. He underlines the fact that these discoveries take place simultaneously and that they enhance each other. Photography is the link between the external and the internal world of the individual, but also a very important means of communication.

In the context of the world wars, this sort of communication is extremely important. The division which occurred between people because they followed different interests led to a massive destruction of the world and to massive deaths. This had a negative impact upon the spirit and the individual found himself alone and alienated. Why do people find themselves in such a state of well being when looking at the photos of Bresson? Because they recognize the humanity in them. They recognize themselves in the figure of the other and this creates a significant feeling of communication and union. The individual is ready to communicate with his fellowmen and create peaceful relations. And this brings him more than one benefit.

In the same interview Bresson declares: "Photography is in a way a mental process. We have to know what to, be clear, on what we want to say. Our conceptions, our, what we think of a certain situation, a certain problem. Photography is a way of writing it, of drawing, making sketches of it. And in the form, things are offered to us in daily life. We have to be alert and know when to pick the moment which is significant. Then, it's just intuition. it's instinct. We don't know why, we press at a certain moment. It comes, it is there, it's given. Take it. Everything is there, it is a question of chance, but you have to pick and force chance to come to you. There's a certain will."

Other life values which the photographer is trying to convey through his works include the strong will, the faith in intuition and also an active attitude towards the world. Bresson tries to teach people that they can be the actors in the main role when life is concerned. There are many things the occurrence of which one can not control, but there are still many other decisions which can fundamentally impact our lives. Bresson's photos are an advice to have a clear view of the world, to try to be objective in order to have a better control of one's life. In addition, the artist shows that beauty and happiness can be found in the small things of everyday life and that they must be cherished. Going deeper with the analysis one might state that the photographer makes a strong statement about the value of life and what are the things which can act as motivators for one. From this point-of-view, we could also state that Bresson's work has a powerful philosophic dimension which one can discover at a closer look.

6. The audience for which an artist creates is another important factor to be analyzed when dealing with the interpretation of his work. It is safe to say that Bresson was creating for everyone. The scene where he worked was represented by the street. He loved to be in the middle of things and part of the events which he photographed. He was not interested in creating for a restricted elite that could interpret his message in a certain way. He was rather interested in proving the world with a proper mirror of itself. And in fact, the beauty of his photographs is recognizable by all the viewers, regardless of their education, professional preparation, social status, etc.

It is important to bear in mind the social context in which Bresson created. A lot of negative things were happening and people needed to be reminded that beauty still existed and that hope had a meaning. Therefore, his creations were destined for his contemporaries, but not only. Besides the message that he wished to convey to the people experiencing the same things which he did, the artist was also a recorder of the events of his time. Years after the images have been taken, they remain just as fresh, which is only a proof more that Bresson's vision was that of a genius.


Website references:

Interview: "Henri Cartier-Bresson-Famous photographers tell how"(1958) in American Suburb X, photography and culture, Retrieved February 12, 2011 from http://www.americansuburbx.com/2009/09/interview-henri-cartier-bresson-famous.html

Famous photographers of Urban Scenes, Henri Cartier Bresson in Urban Photography, Retrieved February 11, 2011 from http://www.urban-photography-art.com/henri-cartier-bresson.html


Assouline, Pierre. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The biography, Thames and Hudson, First Thus Edition, November1, 2005

Cartier-Bresson, H., Bonnefoy, Y. Henri-Cartier Bresson: Photographer, Bulfinch, First Revised Edition, October 21, 1992


Chalifour, B.Henri Cartier-Bresson's Last Decisive Moment, Afterimage, vol.32, 2004 in Questia.com, Retrieved February 11, 2011 from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=34712DCDD54E7D8E26B06DE9F56119B4.inst2_1b?docId=5009737788

Schjeldahl, P. The art world, Picture perfect, an Henri Cartier-Bresson retrospective. April 19, 2010 in the Newyorker- Arts and Culture. Retrieved February 10,2011 from http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2010/04/19/100419craw_artworld_schjeldahl[continue]

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