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Thanks FORMAT International …

Thanks FORMAT International …

Thanks FORMAT International Photography Festival and Louise Mazmanian

A selection of publications, cameras and dummies from Éditions Bessard, a Paris based independent publishing house created by Pierre
Bessard in 2011.

A few months ago, we met Pierre Bessard in his home in Paris. We
had come to produce a portrait, in both words and images, of this
creative and ambitious man. A collector of beautiful things, this ‘young
publisher’ (as he likes to call himself) is bright-eyed and brilliant.
On a table, Bessard had placed a pile of his past and forthcoming
publications.

I was eager to see one of his latest, Wang Qingsong’s History
of Monuments. I held a limited-edition copy of the book between my
hands, admiring its bronze cover, a unique creation by the artist Martin
Salazar. Only fifty were printed. (A regular edition was printed with a
run of 450.)

Bessard spoke of meeting with Wang Qingsong in China. ‘In his studio,
I felt like I was experiencing life in slow-motion. Time was suspended
as I became immediately absorbed in his world. The book was conceived in
that space. China changed my perception of things.’

Editions Bessard was founded during an epiphany after returning from a
trip to China. It was a rewarding, fortunate experience that led to the
book Journal de Chine, 365 Days in China. ‘The country should be seen
in its entirety,’ he told me.

According to Bessard, a book can come together quickly. ‘When I meet
with an artist, I become visionary, I can see the finished
work materializing before me,’ he says. ‘To maintain this energy, I am
constantly on the move, doing workshops and attending conferences to
better understand the evolution of the book and the image.’
Bessard is in high demand, both as a publisher and for his artistic and technical advice.

Like a gold digger panning for the finest nuggets, he prefers
to conduct his research himself. ‘I have always known how to
surround myself,’ says Bessard. ‘It takes emotion, reflection and
innovation. That’s
how I approach art.’

Among his innovative projects is his highly successful
Zine collection. He’ll soon be printing 300 copies of each. Bessard
hopes to expand his distribution and work with international
booksellers, develop other publications and launch new collections,
including special editions in colour.

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