IT IS THE FINAL DAY OF THE CAMPAIGN.
AS U CAN SEE WE ARE FUNDED (YIPPEE!)
I wish to do several things to apportion $ at no cost to others to further increase value, which Kickstarter calls "stretch goals":
If we reach $25K, not far away, I will increase the book from 9 x 12 size to 12 x 12 size. Many of my images are square; this allows for a more striking full page bleed without crop. WE MADE THIS!!
If we reach $30K, I will add 2 to 4 pages per chapter for sketches, poems, and thoughts (occasionally, commentary from some of the models and other participants) to shine a light onto the genesis and inspiration of some of the images. WE ARE NOT THERE YET!!
Jean-Paul Bourdier is a photographer of unique style and strong passion. His work balances on the nexus of several arts. More than photography alone, it is also painting, poetry, and performance art. Each image is a scene - created ... staged ... captured ... designed to evoke thought, and perhaps a smile. Natural landscapes combine with the human form. Enhanced by color, motion, and perspective, they express beauty, wonder, and truth.
The images themselves are also truthful in that there is no digital enhancement; it is all analog photography. What you see on the page is what was really there. Many say they feel Jean-Paul's passions for life - through the poignancy, humor, and illusion of the photos - jump right off the page.
Welcome to the campaign for BODYSCAPES II: Theater of LIfe.
"I am pleased to be uniquely inspired these past several years to create the images for this book. I trust it to be among my finest work." - JP
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHY
All the photographs, and the scenes they depict, are staged in nature, and prominently feature both the Earth and the human form. The Earth connotes the fabric of our existence. The human bodies are bare to connote the primordial human condition, vulnerable and dispossessed of material necessities in the face of our Earth and its natural elements. The images are meant to fluctuate between moments of clarity where all said elements appear to be unified, and more problematic moments which relate to our limitations. Many of the images focus on a most common human desire - the longing to experience true freedom.
"It is often in the collision between the infinity of Life and the plans made by one's finite thinking mind where humor is birthed. Humor is something I try not to overlook; I enjoy creating with it." - JP
WHY "THEATER OF LIFE"
The broad definition of "theater" is an artistic endeavor or presentation that is considered in terms of its dramatic quality. This is precisely what Jean-Paul has created and presented with this body of work. The definition of "life" is more basic - the condition of existence. Whether it is his depiction of human bodies, trees, or Earthly landscapes, Jean-Paul has imbued all his subject matter presented in this body of work with a breath of life. Thus, the Theater of Life.
Says Jean-Paul: "We have a deep link to every part of our environment. Each page of this book is intimately related to the creative practices and innumerable aspects of our being on this Earth. I have always held a passion for discerning the poetic or dramatic or the “intangible” through photography, and in this book you will experience this, as well as my affection for observing the vicissitudes and joys - the "theater" - of our lives on Earth. "
THE CAMPAIGN AND ITS MISSION
Jean-Paul considers his photography to be a deeply personal quest. Whereas his books, papers, and reputation within the field of traditional (vernacular) architecture have been well-chronicled and very well received, he had chosen to keep his fine-art photography completely private, until 2007. Today, thanks to earlier releases of BODYSCAPES and LEAP INTO THE BLUE, the publishing community has begun to take serious notice. The images comprising BODYSCAPES II: Theater of LIfe have been created and assembled by Jean-Paul from 2012 through 2015.
The mission of the Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds of a sufficient amount so that Jean-Paul can oversee the design and production of the book personally. With these funds will then come the ability to align with a publisher on more favorable and artistic terms, based on like-minded visions, and shared appreciation for the messages conveyed by the art.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE PHYSICAL BOOK: The book (whose full title is BODYSCAPES II: Theater of Life) is a coffee table type; it is museum quality; hard cover; with a contemplated 9 x 12 page size (or larger), and landscape orientation. The paper for the text will be of high quality, minimum 157 gsm; the caseboard thickness will be a minimum of 3mm. There will be over 160 images included in this book.
"I pledge to you that this book will be a source of continued interest for you, and besides, will look absolutely stunning on your coffee table!" - JP
THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK:
The book has three chapters -
CHAPTER ONE: ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR ANCESTORS
"The interrelation between all things has led me to assemble photos that evoke the presence of what I call “our ancestors,” from which I feel we are inseparable. These ancestors include the cultural and artistic icons that have shaped our lives." - JP
CHAPTER TWO: THE WAY OF THE ELEMENTS; AND THE TREES "
"In this series of photos, you will poetically experience our ties with the four elements (earth, air, water, light) and, more particularly, our kinship with trees whose limbs and trunks remind us that our body stands as a hyphen between heaven and earth - at the intersection between the horizontal plane of living and the vertical plane of being." - JP
CHAPTER THREE: THE WAY OF DREAMS
"We contemplate the trials and wonders we encounter as human beings during the theater of our life on earth. We use change of language, fashion, and behavior to move in the world like chameleons, changing color to get what we desire or repel what we fear. Our experience of Light through these painted colors brings us close to the nature of our existence - living every second as a new, incomprehensible and surprising moment. The Fulbe people of West Africa have a proverb: Life can be like a dream; if so, one wonders whether it is by living that we dream or by dreaming that we live." - JP
ABOUT JEAN-PAUL AND THE TEAM
Short video above: beautifully shot scenes from a photography shoot - cinematography by Kingkan Siripiriyakul; edited wonderfully by Kanchalee Wijakpaisarn
Jean-Paul Bourdier was born in France and has resided in the U.S. since 1982. He is a Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches both architecture and photography - his twin passions. (For more on Jean-Paul - please see his bio, above.)
In his family were many talented photographers, spanning several generations. At the age of 10, he received a Kodak Brownie for his birthday, and has been a photographer and photography enthusiast ever since.
Jean-Paul is very active and hands-on during the shoots, although on infrequent occasions he will relax in his director's chair (see extremely rare photo of this, above center). The images for BODYSCAPES II: Theater of Life were created over a 4 year period, during 15 separate shoots throughout the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. The models and cinematographers volunteering to accompany Jean-Paul on these shoots are more than just beautiful and talented, they are also exceptionally creative and courageous. Without them, this book could not have been made. Each photograph is the outcome of many thrills and delights, as well as trials and sacrifices. Desert temperature exceeded 100 degrees at times, and went well below freezing at others.
"Over 100 individuals worked as a team to bring this to pass, and for this I am infinitely grateful." - JP
TIMELINE AND USE OF PROCEEDS
The timeline for completion is relatively short-term. The images are all shot and produced and the book is mostly laid out. It is expected that by end of March, the book will be fully designed (including poetical texts). Printing would occur in early April, and books will arrive to Jean-Paul in May. Fulfillment of books as Rewards is indicated as occurring during June - perhaps it will even be a bit earlier.
The printing costs comprise a little less than half of the Use of Proceeds from this Kickstarter raise. Kickstarter (and other) fees, rewards fulfillment, and book design comprise most of the remaining uses, with a small reserve being put aside to facilitate marketing and distribution opportunities during the period of time prior to the selection of a publisher.
As said in the video, Jean-Paul brought this project to Kickstarter for 3 reasons:
1. PERSONAL - he feels deeply personal about his images and the scenes he creates. For a great many years he kept them to himself. Now, as publishers, galleries, museums and art enthusiasts take notice, it is at once exhilarating and yet, odd as this might sound, it is also an intrusion. With Kickstarter, the process is pure - between the art and those who view it, personally.
2. INDEPENDENCE - he feels that the design and production of this book should leap from his visions as an independent artist. With Kickstarter, there is no relinquishing of control of that process as a trade-off for funds.
3. COLLABORATION - the very nature of his work requires a team - a small community of individuals, and so collaboration is already a hallmark of Jean-Paul's art. His type of collaboration is one borne of trust. Jean-Paul recognizes that Kickstarter is also a community that serves the independent artist based upon trust and sees its collaboration as honest and true. If you seek to engage him on his art, you will find him willing.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
Jean-Paul has been a backer of Kickstarter campaigns himself, and hopes you agree that he has set Rewards at levels that provide true value. From his own backer experience, he has suggested the following:
- if you desire any combination of Rewards values not offered together in the campaign, please send Jean-Paul a message (Contact Me, top right) and he will accommodate you.
- Any Rewards levels that require a choice or selection (like which image for your print), these will be made after the campaign.
- The delivery dates of June, 2016 represent the date of delivery for the book. If you have chosen a higher Rewards level involving scheduling - like the day in the desert, you have a longer period of time - a minimum of one year with which to accept options for dates.
A FINAL THOUGHT ...
"I love communicating about my art; I look forward to engaging backers and would-be backers on any subject related to it, whether it involves answers to broad questions, discussions of specific rewards, or even pure chats. I am pleased to be accessible and responsive to all." - JP
Risks and challenges
Says Jean-Paul: I believe I can say with certainty that there are no prevalent risks and challenges in completing the book and fulfilling rewards on a timely basis. Each of the photographs are completed and once this project is funded we are ready to begin design and production.
The rewards I have chosen are timed out so that they can easily be delivered on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (49 days)