I was recently compelled to recreate a famous Man Ray image after taking a picture of the Sternwarte in Zürich.
Man Ray was an American photography who earned his fame amongst the surrealists of Paris. He is also my favorite photographer. Let me share one of my favorite anecdotes about him:
One day Tristan Tzara came over to Man Ray's studio in Paris and presented him with a flyer for an upcoming Dada event. The flyer said the event would feature a film by Man Ray. Man Ray thought that was a very nice joke because Tzara knew very well that Man Ray had not made a film. Tzara was serious however. He suggested that Man Ray make a camera-less film in the style of his Rayographs. Man Ray thought this was plausible, so he acquired some 35mm cinema film and took it into his darkroom. Cutting it into strips, he laid it out onto a table and proceeded to sprinkle salt and pepper on some parts, toss thumb tacks onto others and various other things. He then developed the strips and spliced them together with some loose-ends of some other cinema film he had been experimenting with. When the filmed was shown at the event, it caused an argument in the audience as to its merits as art. This argument lead to a brawl that the police had to break up.
It is amazing what was so controversial in the past that it caused a fight. I attribute it to the cognitive dissonance of the new. When people are exposed to something they have never seen, or imagined before sometimes the brain can't handle it. I strive to create something like that.
Watch Man Ray's film "Le Retour a la Raison"
The Cabaret Voltaire
Scenes from Paris