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Adorae Curieux Zamok

IT WAS A SUPERBOOK THE FIRST TIME WE SAW IT. BUT THIS COPY IS MORE THAN THAT. INSIDE IS A PORTRAIT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND A HANDWRITTEN LETTER EXPLAINING JUST HOW ADORAE CURIEUX ZAMOK CAME TO BE.


Some things exist. This book - the strangely titled Adorae Curieux Zamok - definitely does. The work of two photographers, Gilles Mimouni and Jean-Paul Dumas-Grillet, it was published in 1981. The title is almost explained in a short text by the authors printed on the back of the book; Adorae from Nabokov (presumably from Ada), curieux is curious, and Zamok is 3AMOK, which is Russian for castle or lock. That's the bones of it - the rest is poetry!
 

The pictures are poetry too. It is an exceptional book. See the superlink. Every photograph is great. Sally Mann, Rineke Dijkstra, Helen Van Meene and now these two guys! 
 

The photographers. This picture has been fixed to the cover of a card in which Dumas-Grillet has a written a long note to whoever was the recipient of this copy. In the note he writes 'Je vous joins la seule photographie censuree dans ce livre et qui lui manque cruellement!'. Dumas-Grillet is on the right. He also explains how it was Muriel Cerf's agreement to write the preface that secured publication for the book. 
 

Adolescence is a serious business. Being twelve calls for a lot of knitwear! In Muriel Cerf's preface she writes - and this time, in our rough translation - 'Thirty five kilograms of dreams - brown, blonde, chestnut, red - the photo does not say'. More poetry!
 

Our new favourite person we know nothing about (yet). Muriel Cerf. The French travel writer whose first book L'Antivoyage was a critical and commercial success in 1974. The still image above is from a youtube video of her discussing relationship with her cat! Just have to get better at French to read/listen. This picture also needs to be seen. 
 

Not so serieuses. In his note Dumas-Grillet also explains that some of the photographs date from when he and Mimouni were at school. This could be one of those pictures. A friend photographed on a school camp as part of a project... and the most amazing smile!
 
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