atget and abbott

I love this 100 year old Atget image; The Wine Seller, 15 Rue Boyer, printed by his champion, Berenice Abbott.

The light envelops – is it full sun, noon, august – or noon, december, weak light reflected from snow.

An ambiguous space – doors open, but no sign of proprietor or customers. We only are audience, stepping into the stopframe.

I imagine Atget felt that clock stop – time as tantalising echo; it existed but we can’t prove it; just these frozen snatches. I’m sure Einstein wondered about the reality/out of time quality of Atget’s images.

A short span and a long line, seconds into minutes, days decades eternities.

Image grab from Artblart, a very good place for (mostly) American photography from the 20c.

Eugene Atget and Berenice Abbott