Regards From Lucy
By William Ropp
Regards From Lucy
An art book that takes us to the heart of William Ropp's Africa, a journey transcended by a poetic gaze posed on a multifaceted continent.
Dreamt memories of Africas
The stories that illuminated my childhood like an ancient manuscript were those written by Louis Jacolliot, my maternal great-great-grandfather. A great traveler, he spent several years during his law career as a judge in Tahiti and also presided over the French Court at Chandernagore in India. Over the course of his short life (born in 1837, he died for unknown reasons in 1890) he found the time to become a prolific writer, producing no less than 50 works. As erudite as they were disparate, these writings ranged from an Indian version of the book of Genesis translated from Sanskrit (after which he wrote The Bible in India: The Life of Iezeus Christna which earned him incendiary criticism from church officials and blacklisting)
to extraordinary tales – part novels, part travel narratives – transporting his readers from the Australian outback to the jungles of Africa.
As an 8 year-old boy, books like The Jungle Racer (1888) and Mysterious Africa (1877), written by my great-great-grandfather, opened up a world of intrigue and discovery. It was too soon to be thinking about my calling in life, but they ignited in me a desire to read. I devoured his books and would fall asleep reliving scenes from the pages of Journey to the Land of the Monkeys (1883) in which he describes sitting around an African campfire listening to the insistent chanting that announced himself as that night’s meal.
A master dabbler of languages, he swiftly recalled what he had picked up thus far of local dialects, which allowed him to react in time by catching his boy guide by the neck and administering a forceful reprimand with his stick. Having taken the situation in hand by proving his superiority, he was able to escape the fate of filling his attackers’ stomachs. As much as my great-great-grandfather’s narratives had a profound and resonating effect on me as a child, their influence on my life’s work would not come until much later.
It was around the time that I turned 40 when those seeds firmly planted in my memory finally began to germinate. I was overtaken by an irrepressible craving for the Africas. My first trip was to the Dogon country of Mali, a land full of myths where the the Tellem, Liliputian like beings, lived until around the 15th century. Their dwellings were suspended between earth and sky in honeycomb caves carved into the red sandstone cliffs of Bandiagara as shelter from the numerous predators of the time (today they largely consist of
tourists hunting for archeological treasures). Next it would be Senegal and its wrestlers whose mythical powers would forever upturn the image of the Senegalese marksmen with their broad smiles made so
famous by the Banania brand (a favorite breakfast drink for French children). Then there was
enigmatic Ethiopia, an extravagant mosaic of lights and shadows protected from invasions by mountains like fortresses. I would return there many times. This book is the expression of my perpetual delight in the contact with my fellow human beings. It is a product of the profound respect that I feel in the presence of each of them. It is for the young priest I met in a church carved out of rock in Tigre whose gaze of infinite sweetness I felt penetrating into me as I struggled to hold back tears while I printed his image, desperate for him to live forever in these pages.
W. Ropp Nancy, March 2018
William Ropp was born in 1960 and lives in Nancy.
He began his career in the theatre, co-founding the "Théâtre X" company.
In 1988, he took a highly successful series of black and white photographs of human figures reflected in distorting mirrors. Several books followed.
In 1993, he became interested in uncontrolled postures, plunging his subjects into darkness in a studio and 'painting' their outlines with a beam of light, the intrusion of light creating accidents of form.
In 2007, he took a complete break from studio work and produced a powerfully dreamlike series of photographs of children in Africa.The book « Dreamt memories from Africa » followed. He then became a teacher, running workshops all around the world and elsewhere.
He began working with colour in 2010, revisiting the same themes and taking inspiration from classical paintings. In 2012 The Musee de la Photography in Belgium and the Maison Européennne de la Photographie in Paris organized jointly a succesful rétrospective exhibition
The book « William Ropp 20 years of Photography » was launched for this occasion.
Today, his works form part of some of the greatest public collections
Allocation of funds
Our collection objective will allow us to carry out the edition in the best possible conditions. With a print run of 700 copies.
Printed on the presses of the Pbtisk printing company established in the Czech Republic, one of the largest European printing houses, with more than 10 million books produced each year.
The book by William Ropp Regards from Lucy will be published by Éditions Empreintes & Digitales under the Artistic Direction of Jean-yves Camus. The book will be printed in full color plus a pantone color for the background of the images. A binding with a square back sewn glued to ensure good maintenance of the book for many manipulations.
In 240 x 340 format, the body of work consisting of 132 pages and 4 cover pages will be printed on Magno Volume paper of 170g which will give excellent color rendering and print quality of images at working level. by William Ropp.
Your participation is an opportunity to become the proud owner of a collection art book accompanied by an original photograph of the work of William Ropp exhibited and purchased by the largest museums in the world.
- The Museum of Fine Art, Houston (USA)
- Musée de la Photographie Charleroi (Belgium)
- Andalusian Centre of Photography (Spain)
- Museo de Arte Moderno de Vitoria Artium (Spain)
- Maison Européenne pour la Photographie, Paris (France)
- Museet for Fotokunst, Odense (Denmark)
- Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne (Switzerland)
- The New York Public Library, (the Spencer Collection), New York
- Musée Civico Farnese, Piacenza (Italy)
- Musée Ken Damy, Brescia (Italy)
- Galerie Robert Doisneau , Vandoeuvre (France)
- Musée Vamn Reekum, Apildoorn (Holland)
- The Polaroid Collection (USA)
- Galerie du Château d’eau, Toulouse (France)
- Fotomuseum in Mölkau, Leipzig (Germany)