“Far Out” Photos From Mexico’s Bohemian Life 

Behold
The Photo Blog
June 15 2014 11:00 AM

“Far Out” Photos From Mexico’s Bohemian Life 

Mexican Journey
“Mexican Journey,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

Photographer Bernard Plossu spent much of his 20s and 30s zigzagging across Mexico while leading a bohemian life of romancing women, listening to Jazz music, and lounging with friends on the beach, all the while snapping pictures of his adventures. The images during that time period, shot over four extensive trips to Mexico from the mid-1960s to early ’80s, have been edited into a book, titled, ¡Vámanos! Bernard Plossu in Mexico, published by Aperture.

“Editing a book about moments of the past makes one feel the memories at full scale,” he wrote via email. “In my case, reviewing the wild ’60s was ‘far out’ as they said back then.”

“My images of the ’60s show a lot how we were kind of a wild bunch, living for the road … just to move on, to discover, to smell, to live other experiences,” he recalled.

Mexican Journey
“Mexican Journey,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

duo
Left: “Journey and Return,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014). Right: “Mexican Journey,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

From The North Mexican Tropics / 1981
“From The North Mexican Tropics, 1981,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Bernard Plossu

Advertisement

Born in Vietnam, Plossu was raised in France and has traveled and photographed extensively throughout his life including time in the American West, India, Niger, and the Aeolian Islands. He said that while of course there are similarities and differences throughout the world, Mexico was truly unique.

“We used to say ‘Como Mexico, no hay dos,’ ” (or, there isn’t another Mexico) he said. He added when he was traveling and shooting in Mexico people were often friendly to him, especially when he told them he was from France.

duo2
Left: “From the North Mexican Tropics, 1981,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México(Aperture, 2014). Right: “Mexican Journey” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

Although he enjoys shooting with both color and black-and-white film, Plossu said he was lead by a “mysterious feeling” when deciding which roll of film to place in the camera. “I especially like color when the weather is bad or raining because the colors mix so well with the grey tones of the sky,” he said. Percentagewise, Plossu shot more with black-and-white and sometimes had two cameras with him each loaded with different film.

“But always with the same lens: the direct, simple 50mm that makes no effect,” he added. “Just like the way the cinema Nouvelle Vague was filmed from the shoulder: cinema-verité, like the early movies of Cassavetes.”

Plossu said he is curious to know whether much has changed in Mexico since his last trip there in the ’80s.

“Many years have gone by, half a century, literally [since my first trip],” he said. “It’s just unbelievable, time flies.”

From The North Mexican Tropics / 1981
“From the North Mexican Tropics, 1981,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

Mexican Tropics / 1981
“From the North Mexican Tropics, 1981,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

The Border
“The Border,” from ¡Vámonos! Bernard Plossu in México (Aperture, 2014).

Copyright Bernard Plossu

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in the New Yorker. It’s Not Good.

Brow Beat

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 6:32 PM Taylor Swift’s Pro-Gay “Welcome to New York” Takes Her Further Than Ever From Nashville 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.