The desert is a place of silence, mystery, and solitude, a setting and vehicle for dreams and myths, and the ultimate site of illusion and mirage. Europe discovered the desert in the nineteenth century via archaeological and geographical explorations. In that period too, photography was invented, and it went hand in hand with the discovery of the desert. Solitary travelers or members of scientific expeditions, artists, and photographers embarked upon the representation of the desert as a territory to explore and as landscape. Organized around a series of historical and contemporary works, this book examines the ways photography and the movies have represented the desert. Among the artists included are Michael Ashkin, Lee Friedlander, Edward Weston, Wilfred Thesiger, Bill Viola, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Herge (of Tintin fame). Distributed on behalf of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. 140 photographs.
Since it was founded in 1984, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has become recognized throughout the world for its support of both new and well-established artists, and for its groundbreaking exhibitions in the flexible modular space designed by Jean Nouvel.
Raymond Depardon is a French photographer, filmmaker, and journalist. He has published more than fifty books on photography.
William Eggleston (b. 1939) lives in Memphis, Tennessee.