Dark and more // Donker en meer


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Upon the entry of the enormous hall

the dark color on the floor

appeared to be caused by fire.

Arson, the extinction brigade thought

and kept the doors open.

The doors, that with some skylights

gave access to a bleak light

and the photographer.

Windows were not barred

as usual.

Some had had a party

Some had smashed the windows.

Those that aim for an answer

should formulate a question first (NL tekst onderaan)

dark floor – 1

Dark floor – 2

emergency exit – break cylinder to open // nooduitgang – buisje breken om te openen

One open window

Open window and distant door

leftovers from a party

Broken window

Broken glass


Question one

Meer dan donker

Na het binnengaan in de enorme hal

bleek de donkere kleur op de vloer

te zijn ontstaan door brand.

Gesticht, dacht de blusbrigade,

en hierna bleven de deuren open,

Die met enkele dakramen

een bleek licht toegang gaven,

evenals de fotograaf.

Sommigen hadden een feestje

Sommigen hadden de ramen ingeslagen

Diegenen die uit is op een antwoord

dient eerst een vraag te stellen.

(c) Drager Meurtant ext & photos, July 24, 2021

Amazement as a source for art


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A Paris road

“A road in France / forgot where and when. // That can happen when using analog film / in old Voigtländer camera.”

(one day later, using memory and internet: this is Rue Diderot, just entered from Avenue de Général Leclerc, Pantin, Paris. May 12, 2017)

“Now look, in that window!”

Now, length plays a role. If you are 20 cm longer than me, you will have a different look.

“Yeah, what is it you wanted to show?”

No doubt, analog photography is different from digital. With digital photos I change little, perhaps enhace contrast somewhat, adapt ligth-dark a bit. Rarely major manipulation with saturation and such. But this Kodacolor film, in Voigtländer Vitoret (dating from early 1960s): different cake…

Poste de Surveillance

Along the same road, Avenue Général Leclercq, Pantin, Paris, there is the the entry of Parking has a guard house, with peculiar roof, or should I say: a sort of canopy?

Grand Garage

Experience learns, a car might leave the exit at some speed…

Cocktails and more

After a while and a strech with the Metro (subway) we have come back to the Paris Center.

Coiffure Sandy

In 2017, people sat at a table for coffee, beer or glass of wine, and terror had decreased. No virus in sight, yet.

If you have a choice…

Indoors, no people smoked, so we had coffee inside. Looking through the window, I noticed a message taped to the glass. Everything else is background. All this happened May 12th, 2017

(c) all photos by Drager Meurtant

Today was different


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(A note with images from March 7, 2021)

Today was different: it started grey and fairly cold. One year of 21st century pandemic, has certain effects. Dominant is the feeling of uncertainty. There are roadblocks at the border. Still, after six months with meetings by ‘skype’ only, the three of us met at small parking-place, to walk in the forest.

three photographers meet one tree

No kissing or hugging, we focus on nature, and some human acts.

inscriptions from earlier date

One should not carve in skin of trees, but testimonies often are built on scars.

yet another scar

Going north, a logger had felled a tree and new life settled on the cut surface.

The face of a logger

Tiny leaves left from autumn, have shadows imprinted on bark.

fragile shadows

About fifty years ago, someone planted stakes on (and with a) purpose. One straight, the other leaning for support, joined with an iron nail.

so much at stake

Here, there is quietude, and the option to choose which way to go.

the other way

At another time, one may meet a fellow traveler on this earth, his/her shelter being a hole in the ground.

Fox hole

Someone took a token of belief, and by placing it in old tree trunk, fixed time and memory.


The clefts and riggles of bark of this birch tree surpass abstraction.


“Three of us is enough: not afraid of tension or to separate fields,
and create boundaries”

the three of us

text and images (c) Drager Meurtant, March 7-8, 2021

The reason hid in a distant place / De rede was ver te zoeken


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the beginning / het begin
on the way / onderweg

Only after crossing trenches / and brooks, and raising / fallen trees upright, // followed by rubbing out / the dirty ground from narrow eyes, // and by calling loud: “I’m alone!” // motion started behind / the bushes.

Slechts na oversteek van greppels / en kreken, en het rechtzetten / van omgevallen bomen, // waarna de vuile grond uit geknepen ogen / werd gewreven , // en door luid te roepen: “ik ben alleen!” // kwam er beweging vanachter / het struikgewas.

wide canal // brede sloot
deep laying brook / diep gelegen beek

One thought, it is a goat, / fastened with ties and anxious, // the other believed to perceive / a superior power.

De één dacht, het is een geit, / vastgebonden en angstig, // de ander meende, een hogere macht / te ontwaren.

But something unmentionable / crept forward: “reason evades an explanation.”

Maar iets onnoembaars kroop / te voorschijn: “de rede laat zich niet verklaren”



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There came a day that the car needed a new wheel and we walked in the neigbourhood. The camera was in the backpack not for long.

in need of repair

This was a typical area of trade and operations, and in between there was a small area of bushes and trees.

invite for a moment of rest

Small spots of green (nature?) amids urban environment, easily brings surreal experiences.


Buildings and trees share a relation with height.


These are trees, the Dutch call ‘Acacia’, but wikipedia says Robinia pseudoacacia, or ‘false acacia’

nature looks at apartments in high buildings (8 stocks)

And looking one direction, an endless green nature expands for about 60 meter.


While the other way, preparations to build new quarter are under way…


And, the destructive nature of humankind is visible in this trolley

victim number 22

It is not good enough, to steal and leave such lorrey, no, it must be smashed…

urban trees

Can trees survive without buildings?


The walk brought the aim of our trip, in a different format.

red, light, windows, reflections and bicycle

The last minutes of the time we had to wait, withing the dealer’s compound.

A different tale


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The day of December two thousand and twenty, started with haze and drizzle, that kept some sort of lock over the day.

Still, face covered with mask in the train, we went to the city of Amsterdam, to visit the museum of photography ‘Foam’. Rarely do I make photos of photos. But there are other elements. My photos taken in the museum are given below, together with a few from the journey back home.

stubborn element (detail)
stubborn element (whole)

Now more than in earlier times, there is the need for refreshment of air within buildings.

grate for air vent (one)
Grate for air vent (two)

The artist Jan Schoonhoven might have found inspiration.

Grate for air vent (detail of one, B&W)

Somewhat hidden, there is a call for connectivity, dating from more than half a century ago.

electric wire and plugs

A crack in the window captures the focus.

crack in the window, museum Foam

Outside is different, but the view is still influenced. And strong light placed near historic facades of homes deviates the focus.

two lights near historic facade

While looking outside through the train windows, images are mirrors of movement.

speeds blurs the view outside (one)

There was no storm, just a train passing.

speed blurs the view outside (two)

Growth and decay: experience in a sun resort


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Early autumn 2014, we stayed for some days in big Sun Resort in Greece (Halkidiki, Macedonia). The economic crisis of 2009 had been tempered, but the effects were still visible. Expansion of the resort that had started about eight years earlier, had stopped around 2009-2010, and rapidly, structures that were not finalized got in part demolished.

view from unfinished building to the port and hotel of sun resort

This building stands on the south side of the port. From behind the open, unfinished form is seen. From the harbor, the appearance is ‘better’. A screen suggested a finished structure.

building on the edge of the port, from behind

A little further a second, longer unfinished building.

under construction

A room of this second building contains stacks of chairs and tables. To the left, again, screens have been placed on which the appearance of a nice finished building is depicted.


A look from inside through such a screen shows only abstracted forms.

screen in abstraction

A small, intimate setting.

two tables, one chair

A bit further away from the big hotel and port, attempts to remove old buildings and replace these with new ones, have been suspended. Digging has created a temporary pond.

reflections in time

Note the historic remnants of original dwellings.

past and presence got stuck in time

As part of the expanded sun resort, an open movie theater was created.

on the agenda “Ben Hur”

Other play and fun places were installed, but had been abandoned for some time: good for memories.

all what is left…

Now, November 2020, an even bigger crisis has started. This week, news about first effective vaccine against COVID19 arrived. However, expectations are it will take one year or longer, to treat people at risk, which concerns most of us.

No surprise, that situation at this sun resort has remained much the same, in as far I could discern today from examination of google earth map of the area.

Take care, be carefull you all,

Drager, 12-11-2020

Growth and decay / Groei en verval


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In autumn, of all seasons, the co-existence of growth and decay is most palpable.

In de herfst, van alle seizoenen, is het naast elkaar bestaan van groei en verval het meest tastbaar.

A mycelium of mushrooms feeds and decomposes plant material into organic matter vital for growth of other life.

Het mycelium van paddenstoelen groeit op en verteert plantaardig materiaal in organische materie, die vitaal is voor ander leven.

The form can be delicate and tiny (1)

De vorm kan delicaat en klein zijn (1)

The form can be delicate and tiny (2)

De vorm kan delicaat en klein zijn (2)

The form can be delicate and tiny (3)

De vorm kan delicaat en klein zijn (3)

Sometimes shape is complex and huge

Soms is de vorm complex en reusachtig

Growing in a row

Groei op rij

The color grey

De kleur grijs

The color yellow

De kleur geel

The color red (and white)

De kleur rood (en wit)

Suillellus luridus. Easily mistaken for Boletus Satanus or Devil’s bolete (Rubroboletus satanas), the latter being poisonous.

Suillellus luridus. Kan verwisseld worden met Boletus Satanus or Devil’s bolete (Rubroboletus satanas), waarbij de laatste giftig is.

Growth started and even before a mature form was reached, decay started. A fixed condition becomes fluid.

Groei begon en zelfs voordat een volwassen vorm werd bereikt, startte het verval. Een solide vorm wordt vloeibaar.

Variation in matter

Verschil in materie

Up to the next story

Verder naar het volgende verhaal

Message to suburban elements


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In order to divert your obsessive thinking about poor developments in the world order, close your eyes and ears, and take note:

What’s up there?

What’s there / up there?
just look, and think:

Now that you are attentive, consider this:


Thre thre thre / dam ach sto gho per /

sell Rome never / sell less than ever /

you say words / just that /

words that itch / just that

empty mouth / movements

in vain action / of jaw muscles

The solution will not arrive from understanding, but acception might.

Clear water

Clear water is essential / in the acception of future events /

even if dark elements take control / over our movement /

and our experience gets blurred / by our inability to understand /

time / as the power of movement / and standstill.

Do not take things as these are, but start by improving yourself

Cracks in cohesion: changes in rural life in France.


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This impression was written in 2017, edited 2020

Up until about thirty years ago, villages in France each had their ‘alimentation*’, ‘boulangerie’, boucherie and one or more cafes. In larger villages – as in cities – there was also the ‘quincaillerie’.

Elder men sat on benches smoking pipe while looking at others playing ‘petanque’.

Alimentation in Les Plantiers, (Departement Gard,) about 1980, postcard

As prehistory tells, the earliest humanoid presence in France dates from > 1.5 million years. Up untill 5.000 years ago pockets of human inhabitation consisted of small settlements. In the neolithic period (circa 4500-1700 bc) agriculture was adopted, with parallel development of appropriate tools to work the land and store produced foods. As such, potteries became established. Settlements increased in size.

The following era’s were defined – in archeological terms – by the metal that dominated in tools (and ornaments), with iron, copper, followed by bronze. A major change occurred with the colonization of France (‘Gaul’) by the Roman Empire, of which period many remains are still scattered across the country.

With industrialization in the 19th century the rate increased at which urbanization occurred – with people departing from agricutural regions, a process that continues up to today. Examples of ‘villages abandonnées’ are found all over France’s rural areas. In some regions erosion added to the abandonment of villages.

Abandonned village in The Provence, ca 1980, photo DM

In addition, there occurred the devastating effect of “La grande Guerre” (WW-I), in particular in the north of France. Whole villages were destroyed to the ground, never to be rebuild. In the area above Verdun several of these destroyed villages (‘villages detruits’) can be found. In villages that survived – which ever the size – memorials were raised incised with long lists of victims.

Mort pour la France (Grancey le Chateau, Dep. Côte d’Or) photo DM 2017

However, despite the fact that grenates and bodies were being dug up for decades after the war, life gradually resumed it’s normal course.

Farmer ploughing, Haute-Marne, photo DM 2017

Society in these areas for most of the 20th century still can be defined as people with their connection to their family, work, village, the church, the school, and trade at markets and shops. For travel – if not by car – many railways served to link villages and cities.

Gare de Veynes-Devoluy, (Dep. Hautes-Alpes), photo DM 1997.

Now in 2017

Many villages no longer have their ‘alimentation’ or even ‘boulangerie’. People must go to large shopping centers on the outskirts of larger cities.

Abandonned bakery (‘boulangerie’, in Langres, Dep. Haute-Marne), photo DM 2017.

In small cities like Langres, the same pressure closing smaller stores exists, but the population plus tourists serve to maintain the economy of others.

Boulangerie Maison Gallien, Langres, photo DM 2017

Yet, even in Langres this nice bakery, “Boulangerie Maison Gallien” is threatened with closure, since neighbours – unlike in previous times – now complain about the noise of the bakery at 4 o’clock in the morning. (sign on door: “Nuisances Sonores – une boulangerie en difficulté”, or “Noise Disturbences – a bakery in problems”, post from Le Journal de la Haute-Marne). Likely, ‘modern city people’ working from 8.30 till 17 hours, tolerate less than earlier inhabitants.

Many railroads have ceased to exist. Schools have closed or are threatened with closure. The ‘cementos’ of society crumbles. Foreigners (mostly dutch) buying houses for use during holidays stop decay of abandoned houses to some extent, but leave emptiness during many months in the year.

Grancey le Chateau-Neuvilles, Le Pavillon (Dep. Côte d’Or) . Abandonned railway station and former track. photo DM 2017


The sometimes exorbitant prices of houses / appartments and of living in large cities such as Paris, plus the unhealthy environment (pollution) and the increased number of retired people are all factors that lead to a move out of these cities towards the country. The existence of rapid trains supports this option. For retailers of small shops, however, future remains uncertain.

The presence of places of interest, like former Abbey of Auberive, now also Museum of Contemporary Art (focus on ‘independent art’) helps to maintain enterprises such as Boulangerie – Alimentation & Café de l’Abbatiale in Auberive. (Departement de Haute-Marne)

Boulangerie – Alimentation & Café de l’Abbatiale in Auberive, photo DM 2017

Note, added June 1st 2020

The COVID19 Corona-virus pandemie, that also struck France heavily, and led to a lock-down (including inability to move freely for > 1 km from home) for more than 2 months, might stimulate a move from the city to the country.

*translation of terms

alimentation: food shop

boulangerie: bakery

quincaillerie: hardware shop

© Drager Meurtant, 2017, 2020