David Sauveur - To The Last Path

Pre-order To The Last Path, photographer David Sauveur's book about Jerusalem, co-published by VU'/Le Bec en l'air.

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David Sauveur - To The Last Path

Disclaimer related to the news

This project, on which we have been working for several months, is now taking place in the midst of tragic events. This campaign was supposed to start in mid-May, at a time of extreme resurgence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have delayed the launch for the sake of restraint.

Nevertheless, we believe that this new dark chapter in the history of this region of the world does not make this project any less necessary. David Sauveur's photographs, by their intelligence, their non-judgmental attitude, seem to help us understand the plurality of Jerusalem, this thousand-year-old and multi-faith city.

Shot between 1999 and 2004 and published today, they are the mark of Jerusalem's complexity, a timeless city but constantly confronted with current events. Thus, intertwined between two contradictory flows of time - the long time that is their own and the fast time of men - these photographs narrate a past that enlightens the present. This is why we believe that they have the capacity to nourish the reflection of each and everyone, whether this subject is familiar to them or whether they are discovering it today.

 


 

The series To The Last Path

At the turn of the year 2000, David Sauveur became known for the quality of his reports in conflict zones (Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Kosovo...). At the same time, driven by a need for a global understanding of the world, he conducts an artistic research as an essential echo to his war images.

It is a philosophical and spiritual aspiration that led David for the first time to Jerusalem in 1999. For five years, through a meditative immersion in the depths of the historic city, he collected the material for To The Last Path with a Polaroid camera, in a fragile and radiant style. The coincidence of human affairs led him to witness the first stones thrown during the second Intifada.  From these years of work was born a series of delicately poetic photographs, stretched with acuity between the contradictions of this city: a permanent beauty "suspended between the end and the beginning of the World" (these are his words) and the prevalence of contemporary tensions.

But almost 10 years ago, in August 2011, the talented photographer David Sauveur was victim of a violent attack on the streets of Collioure. The media community, with which he regularly works (Libération, Le Monde, Courrier international...), largely spoke about it. These blows left David heavily handicapped, interrupting his photographer's life. Aphasic, he remains what he has always been: a luminous being in his relationship with others and the world.

With David, we would like to give shape to this subtle and timeless work by publishing this book, in which production we warmly invite you to participate.

The photographer

David Sauveur is a French photographer born in 1974 in Dinard, member of the Agence VU' since 2001. Until his assault in 2011, he is the author of many reportages on conflicts and social issues published in national and international press.


The book To The Last Path

One day, sitting on the rooftops of Jerusalem, looking far away at the smoke from the fighting, I finally closed my eyes and lost myself in the sounds of the old city... I opened a time gate, and thought about what was going through it, letting the sounds, the scents, the feel of my hand on the stone vibrate within me. I understood that life is only a dream and that we are eternal.

– David Sauveur

The title of the book, To The Last Path, refers to the path Jesus would have taken during his crucifixion ("Way of the Cross"), indicated everywhere in the old city of Jerusalem.

Here is what David Sauveur wrote about this work in 2005

It's spring, the bright and white mists of May envelop the old town. At dawn I am sitting facing the city on the other side of the Kidron valley, looking for the early morning light. The first sun rays are already touching the Dome of the Rock. For the Book, Jerusalem is the beginning and the end. The beginning is there, under the golden dome: the first stone created by God, where the divine presence on Earth resides, the rock of Abraham. I am sitting on the Mount of Olives, the mount of the fools who expect the return of the messiah to announce the end of time. To each his own legend, which is superimposed on the others. This valley is the in-between...

It is a beautiful day that begins and I run down the hillside, the slope that separates me from the ramparts, backwards from the prophecy, to catch the light with my Polaroid... Looking up at the wall of the ramparts I see the prow of a great ship crossing times, taking with it a part of the memory of men and their desire for a God. Through the ruins on the hillside of Mount Moriah, I walk towards the gardens with their magical fountains, like a pilgrim or a warrior at rest, then going back to the beating heart of the world. Jerusalem.

I came to find the stories I have always heard from my grandfather, who tells the old Jerusalem like no one else, but who does not want to write them down. I run after dreams, beyond time. I go to the dark alleys with holes of light, to the gardens of Al-Aqsa with their magical fountains, I step over the scars left by history, I listen to the old stones speaking.

This work is a portrait of the old city of Jerusalem with a Polaroid 600. I chose it as it is not a reportage format, in order to offer a different view of the city that is perhaps the most photographed of the world.

It's a slow work, which makes sense with time. Jerusalem, constantly shaken by history, lives different eras at the same time. The Polaroid also allows me, by its conviviality and its "nonprofessional" aspect, to pass through doors usually closed to visitors in a city where each community has preserved its secrets for centuries, even millennia. This is why I have to go back to drink coffee with the Copts, visit the old commanderies of the esoteric chivalry under the Armenian quarter, and pick three hairs of beard from the Grand Mufti of Al Aqsa, as well as other things I can't talk about because maybe old sleeping demons are still waiting for their time, hidden under the stones of the temple...

The analysis of a historian, expert on Jerusalem

We invited Vincent Lemire, historian and director of the French Research Center in Jerusalem, to write the text of the book. He accepted. As a specialist of the city, he worked on Mariana Otero's documentary film, Histoire d'un regard, devoted to the photographer Gilles Caron and especially to the images he took during the Six-Day War.

Born in 1973 in Paris, Vincent Lemire is a professor of contemporary history, and director of the French Research Center in Jerusalem. His work focuses on Jerusalem and the contemporary Near East, environmental history, the history of photography and the history of heritage. He has notably published Jerusalem 1900, la ville-sainte à l'âge des possibles (Armand Colin 2012, Prix Augustin Thierry 2013, reed. Points-Seuil 2016); he recently supervised Jerusalem. Histoire d'une ville-monde (Champs-Flammarion, 2016, Prix Pierre Lafue 2017) and Le Moyen-Orient de 1876 à 1980 (Armand-Colin, 2016).

The infinite beauty of the world in 10 cm2.
So much, condensed in such a small area.
Perhaps this is where reside the strength and beauty that emanate from it.
A celestial halo. They seem to emit their own light, their own energy.

 – Mathilde Sauveur


 

Book details

Dimensions 22,5 x 22,5 cm
96 pages
70 photographs in color
Text bilingual French/English
Cover Hardback cloth-bound and hot-stamped
Print four-colour process on coated paper
Price 32 €
ISBN 978-2-36744-159-7

In bookshops on 1 October 2021

The autor

David Sauveur is a French photographer born in 1974 in Dinard, member of Agence VU' since 2001. He is the author of numerous reportages on conflicts and social issues, notably the second Intifada (2000-2008), the Israeli-Lebanese conflict, the war in Afghanistan, student movements in France (2006), "Youth", a documentary on youth (2004-2007), several subjects in West Africa, Sierra-Leone, Niger, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Mauritania, Sao Tome (2002-2007), Jerusalem (2000-2004), Kosovo (1999), various social, political or current affairs subjects in France, the Zapatista revolt in Mexico (1994-2000)...

His images have been published in the national and international press: Le Monde, Courrier International, Le Monde diplomatique, Libération, Paris Match, Newsweek (USA), Stern (Germany), La Vanguardia (Italy), Ogoniok (Russia), Afisha (Russia)...

His personal work using Polaroid (To The Last Path in Jerusalem, Et puis plus rien que le bruit du vent in Saint-Malo, or 24 x 36 mm (Sans nom, about Taoism), has led to the acquisition of prints of his photographs by several national public collections since 2012. He also likes to collaborate with other artists, musicians, choreographers, directors or visual artists.

He participated in numerous symposiums, juries, festivals and conferences on photography and journalism: Maison européenne de la photographie (Paris), Rencontres d'Arles, Festival du scoop et du journalisme (Angers), Centre de formation et documentation (CFD-Paris), Les Champs-libres (Rennes), Festival Travelling (Rennes), World Press Photo Foundation (Amsterdam), Festival Visa pour l'image (Perpignan), École nationale de la photographie (Arles)

In August 2011, a violent attack on the streets of Collioure (Pyrénées-Orientales) left him severely disabled. Since then he has not photographed.

L'Agence VU'

As a French agency of photographers, VU’ affirms and defends every day its original ambition: to reveal, accompany and make discover the singular views of author-photographers.

From immediate news to long-term investigations, from formal works to intimate stories, from analog photography to multimedia projects, from the studio to extreme or mundane fields : VU’ presents a plural panorama of a living author’s photography that questions the contemporary world.

VU’ is a permanent laboratory for reflection on the evolution of the world and of images, and collaborates with emerging talents as well as with winners of prestigious prizes (Word Press Photo, Leica-Oscar Barnack Prize, W. Eugene Smith Award, Henri Cartier-Bresson Prize, Visa d’or, Carmignac Prize for Photojournalism, etc.)

If its documentary filiation is assumed – with a creation in 1986 within the French daily newspaper Libération and the choice of a name in homage to the famous weekly illustrated news magazine of the 30s – VU’ has opened its territory of expression to other styles and and fileds, and has been able to forge lasting and inventive links with actors in the media, NGOs, publishing, culture, institutions, businesses and communication.

VU’ continues its commitment to promoting photography to all audiences by organizing meetings and conferences, training courses (VU’ Education) and by selling collector’s prints (Galerie VU’), books, special, limited or rare editions (La Boutique VU’).

Le Bec en l’air

Le Bec en l’air is a French independent publisher founded in 2000, based in Marseille, and specialised in photobooks.

Their 200 titles catalogue includes Denis Brihat’s monographs, all of Denis Dailleux’s recent books, Marc Riboud’s Algeria – as well as photographic writings as diverse as the ones of Jane Evelyn Atwood, Bruno Boudjelal, Stéphane Couturier, Payram or, among the emerging talents, Arko Datto, Yohanne Lamoulère, Shinji Nagabe, Frédéric Stucin…

Whether the work we publish are driven by a documentary, an aesthetic or an intimate purpose, our books share a common feature: the dialog between image and text as a tool for questioning the contemporary world.

As for the texts, very often multi-lingual, they are commissioned to writers, essayists or art critics such as Christian Caujolle, François Cheval, Laurent Gaudé, Marie-Hélène Lafon, Yanick Lahens, Elias Sanbar, Yoko Tawada, Alice Zeniter…

The publishing house is associated with several events of which it produces the annual catalogue: Circulation(s) festival in Paris, ImageSingulières in Sète, Prix Maison Blanche in Marseille…

It has also been entrusted with the publication of a yearly catalogue presenting the photographic acquisitions of French public institutions (museums, FRAC, CNAP, BnF, national and regional archives, médiatheques…), in co-edition with the ministry of culture, the second volume of which was released in 2021.

Le Bec en l’air is a member of France Photobook (formerly PhotoBook Social Club), a group of about twenty French independent photobook publishers.

The house was founded and is run by Fabienne Pavia (director) and Dominique Herbert (artistic director).

www.becair.com

Events

A first version of To The Last Path was presented at the Centre Georges Brassens in Angers in 2006 and, as part of Confronting Views, a group exhibition on Palestine in collaboration with Larry Towell, Paolo Pellegrin, Bruno Stevens and Antoine d'Agata, among others, at the festival Noorderlicht (Groningen, Netherlands, 2002) and at the Photographer's Gallery (London, UK, 2003). In 2009, as part of the Travelling festival in Rennes dedicated to Jérusalem, a recorded concert took place.

On the occasion of the publication of the book, a book signing of To The Last Path will take place at the Galerie VU'. Other events will be programmed according to the sanitary conditions.

Sponsors

This project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Picto laboratory.

Waar dient de collecte voor

Total production costs amount to 14 000 €. This amount covers graphic design, prepress, royalties for authors, editorial follow-up, proof reading and printing of the book, including printing monitoring at the factory. Production Printing of the book 8 000,00 € Prepress 1 000,00 € Graphic design 2 000,00 € Editorial Royalties 2 000,00 € Editorial follow-up 1 000,00 € Total 14 000,00 € HT 5,5% VAT excl. Your contribution will be directly allocated to the printing of the book. Remaining costs are covered by : Agence VU’ : 2 500 € Le Bec en l’air : 2 500 € If our projet happens to be largely overfunded, the funds collected beyond the goal will be dedicated to producing an exhibition of David's work as a support to the book. a

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