Arles 2022: Louis Vuitton Editions: Miles Aldrige – Cordoue – The Eye of Photography Magazine

Synonymous with the art of traveling since 1854, Louis Vuitton continues to add titles to its “Fashion Eye” collection. Each book evokes a city, a region or a country, seen through the eyes of a photographer. Since his first trip to Cordoba, Miles Aldrige has kept the same loving gaze for the luxury and heaviness of his religious processions.

It happens that we fall in love with a city by chance in a passage, at the corner of a street, when the mind wanders. This love often prepares itself. It is the fruit of readings and paintings, of a whole section of the imagination that comes in the shadows to pull the strings of great emotion. For British photographer Miles Aldrige, it was Cordoba.

Cordoba was through the words of the writer García Lorca, in the nyctalope volutes of Miles Davis. It was ready. The big capsizing was coming. It was there, without a big blow, without a disturbing element. As Aldrige is as good a speaker as he is a looker, to quote him: “We were sipping a glass of Montilla-Morels — that incredible local white wine — in a bar in Cordoba, my thick collection of Lorca lying in front of me — when extraordinary echoes of percussion, trumpets and songs. It totally clashed with the ambient calm. I left the bar and came face to face with the Virgin Mary coming down the narrow aisle, right in the middle of the candles and the scent of incense, carried by young fellows”.

Falling in love during Holy Week, Alrdige returned there without regularity, “seven or eight times”, when the need arose. Of these haunting loves that return at a fixed time, like a necessary procession out of the fury of the world. What does he find there? At the corner of the streets, all the Spanish folklore. Proud chins stretched to the sky with on their shoulders, a virgin weighed down with ornaments. The procession of the living and the dead, each decked out in the mask of the other, frozen in a solemn moment, as in purgatory. The incense suspended from the swing of the wrists, at the end of a chasuble, and the dark night, a little slow, disturbed by the pointed silhouettes of the masked processionaries.

When we love, we only keep the best of memories. This love is cherished. We suck its juice and when it comes to sadness, the memory springs up, like an eternal character, repeated and rediscovered. In this Cordoba, love lives again in the procession and the rites. But that would only freeze the beginning of the litany. Cordoba in Holy Week is much more. It is the stretched night of the children. “They are outside, at three and four in the morning, with their grandparents. They like to collect dripping wax from candles and make balls of it. »

the Córdoba Miles Aldrige plays on this ambivalence between a folklore embodied with seriousness, the promise of a tradition that is rediscovered each time, and the pagan celebration that it arouses throughout the city. “The sacred and the profane merge”, says the photographer further. His book travels like a neighborhood regular, in the ambiguity of symbols and the solitude of large crowds.

The book alternates color and black and white in its selection; the first chosen to recompose smoky tones that evoke Caravaggio, the second to focus on scenes and only see curiosities. The book is composed in a paper of a hushed elegance and allows itself a golden luster interstice, as one would open the shutters of an altarpiece, on the marble face of the Virgin, almost alive.

Composition, colors, manufacture. It is a book of great elegance. We would forget the Aldrige ride. The photographer shows throughout the mystique of a Cordoba inhabited for a whole week by its demons and its angels, and which chooses the parenthesis of the nights to wake up and live again. In all respects it is a success.

Miles Aldrige- Córdoba

Louis Vuitton Editions, 2022

“Fashion Eye” collection, directed by Julien Guerrier.

Edited by Sylvie Lécallier.

Graphics by Lords of Design.

Bilingual French-English, 96 pages.

Available in bookstores or online

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Arles 2022: Louis Vuitton Editions: Miles Aldrige – Cordoue – The Eye of Photography Magazine

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