François-Marie Banier – Brazil - François-Marie Banier

I hadn’t come to Brazil to take photographs, but to exhibit them: Silvana Mangano in a fur coat, Beckett on the beach, Marcello Mastroianni dancing, my collection of passers-by with typically French expressions, twin sisters, twin brothers sometimes staggering blindly, and the big photos on which I paint the day’s feelings with both hands.    And then – in this country where the sun seems so close you could touch it with your fingers like tickling a bronzed god under the chin – I met beauty in its purest state.    Like cutting up cardboard with scissors that don’t really know where they’re going, guided only by the whims and undulations of the material, the trance swept my lens along.    Children like love-bombs sitting on the doorsteps of forbidden houses.

Eyes like diamonds of men and women walking back and forth on glowing coals. Bodies like never-ending songs, painting their innermost dramas through dance. Brazil, land of cascading horizons, where the earth suddenly springs up in the middle of the ocean to remind us that death too directs our steps, the only visible thread that guides our existence.    Blacks, Whites, masks, who is shadow? Who light? In the kingdom of music and dance, even shapes in Brazil have the power to love, and be loved.

François-Marie Banier – Brazil

by François-Marie Banier


This text was written by François-Marie Banier for his book Brésil published by Gallimard in 2001.