Picasso, Le Corbusier, Sadate, Man Ray, Alberto Giaciometti, Che Guevara, this month we have the pleasure of welcoming Magnum Photographer René Burri.
René Burri is one of the masters of photography. His photographic work is closer to a pictorialist as opposed to that of a hunter of images. René Burri was educated in image while studying at the Ecole des Arts et Metiers of Zurich in Switzerland from 1949 to 1954. His family groomed him for a career as a graphic artist or a painter, but it was film that has moved him deeply since his childhood. Photography was taught to him by big names like the famous Hans Finsler who introduced to him his first Leica. René Burri alternates his travels, sometimes armed with his camera, sometimes armed with his Bolex for filming the moving image.
In 1954-1955, René Burri became the assistant to Ernst A. Heiniger in the context of a film for Walt Disney. René understood that film would not be truly free and creative in this profession and that the 'order' of film requires leadership and a very strong process and so little room for initiative. René Burri wants to speak freely. During his military service, he was able to experiment with his future career as a photographer based with an undeniable motivation. The career as a photographer he chose is undoubtedly part of one of the richest we know.
Since 1955 René Burri, while multiplying his subjects by traveling on numerous occasions, has already been published in many prestigious magazines like Life and Du. In 1959 he joined the legendary Magnum agency with which he is still closely linked. In the documentary dedicated to René Burri you will discover an amazing man, a man full of humor who has watched and still watches the world with one eye and a singular mind. Through the major changes in photography during the last century, René Burri brings with his photography another reading, more aesthetic, more 'design'. A camera always in his hand, René Burri travels the world, jumping from the sky by plane in search of war, revolution, and strong personalities to meet...
A man of network, buzzwords nowadays, René Burri make friends with many renowned photographers who will help him in his career to publicize his style. Such is the case of Werner Bisch of Switzerland that will help propel René among the greatest and most particular to penetrate the Magnum agency. Henri Cartier-Bresson also took a vital role in the career of René. Second Mentor, the man of the 'decisive moment' in photography will undoubtedly give him very much. René, a real professional, will prepare himself for a style that will be less journalistic and more artistic. During our interviews, we were able to see how rich René's work is. It is not only for the 300,000 pictures that mass the span of his career, but also by the astonishing variety of the subject matter, the quality of treatment in the sense of detail. Globe trotter of the image with a great passion for the game, René has undoubtedly suffered from the war and tragic events he has covered. For René, some meetings were crucial as was the one with Pablo Picasso, for example.
The expression of René Burri's photographic documentary is rarely pessimistic nor sentimental. That is why he has succeeded with the advent of television to make his work a unique work.
Let's take a closer look at all of this in the first phase of our coverage of René Burri...Between the world and your mind.
For further information:
One of the major books of René Burri: René Burri Photographs