My love of Brancusi reaches back to my high school days, so while I was in Paris after two months of photographing houses for Modern Originals, the first place I headed was the recreation of his studio outside the Centre Pompidou. Beyond his sculptures and photography, Brancusi’s desire and efforts to preserve his studio exactly as it was is a subject that is very close to my heart. I know from my own work it is extremely hard to do. The story of the French Government’s efforts to honor Brancusi’s wishes has been admirable, interesting and in some cases tragic. I won’t go into the particulars but it is easy enough to trace the history online. Needless to say, I was filled with curiosity as to what this recreated space would be like. Brancusi’s own photographs had etched it onto my memory in a powerful way. This is actually the third attempt to honor Brancusi’s wishes and was designed by architect, Renzo Piano. It is essentially a glass box within another bigger box and replicates the original atelier in layout, volume and light (skylights!). I found it beautiful, inspiring, strangely clean and rather frustrating. Everything in this section is shot though glass – smudges and all – and by the end of my visit I had decided that someday I would figure out a way to get within the inner glass box. I have no idea how, but I am determined.
All images © 2006-2017, Leslie Williamson. All rights reserved.