Gabriel Veyre in French Indochina, 1899-1900
My current project investigates the work of the French actuality film-maker Gabriel Veyre, and focuses on the films and photographs Veyre made in French Indochina, 1899-1900. The project develops research undertaken in Picturing Mexico: From the Camera Lucida to Film (2014) with regard to a major film-maker not considered in my book. By the time Veyre travelled in French Indochina, the terms of his employment with the Lumière company in Lyon, France, had been significantly redefined. Veyre worked largely independent of the Lumière company, an arrangement that gave him the opportunity to work as a filmmaker and also as a still photographer, preparing photographs and films for the colonial government to exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition universelle. The two diverging business ‘models’ that define Veyre’s relationship with the Lumière company mark differences in the strategies he adopted when working as a still photographer or as a cinematographer. The degree to which his work in early actuality film helps redefine the notion of the nineteenth-century ‘view aesthetic’ is central to the research undertaken in this project.
Keywords: Gabriel Veyre; Société Anonyme des Lumière & ses Fils; early actuality film and still photographic images; nineteenth-century ‘view aesthetic’; French Indochina 1899-1900 and French colonialism; 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.