‘The reason photography got its start is because Niépce had thought: “There must be some way to capture the exact images we see with our eyes and within our minds?” Was there any way to capture family members, a beloved one, or good friends? What about the various things we come across in daily life, or the scenery we can see in this very moment? This undeniable human yearning was the impetus that pioneered photography. Thus, my simplest theory regarding photography: “Photographs are memories.'
- Daido Moriyama exceprt fromView from the Laboratory
Published in 2013 by Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Daido Moriyama’s_View from the Laboratory_acts as a homage to the inventor of photography Nicéphore Niépce. Taken in July 2008, the images within capture Moriyama’s visit to the city of Chalon-sur-Saône, located in the Bourgogne region of France, photographing the city where Niépce was born, Moriyama also photographed the inventor’s studio and workshop in Saint-loup-de-Varennes. Moriyama’s photographic pilgrimage comes 186 years after the creation of the first image “View from the Window at Le Gras”. Through the journey, what unravels is a narrative that tells the transformative nature of photography, reminding both photographer and viewer again of the very origins of the art,and the fragility of the medium itself. Now almost completely faded by the lapse of time, Nicéphore Niépce’s “View from the Window at Le Gras” embodies the very aura of photography itself, not unforgotten by the mechanical acts of reproduction but further pronounced through the very acts of human veneration and homage by works such as Moriyama’sView from the Laboratory.