Ari Marcopoulos: Ainsi Soit-Il
Ainsi soit-il; so be it. That’s the phrase photographer Ari Marcopoulos remembers being taught by Robert Frank during the first of his two visits to his house in Mabou in Nova Scotia. He and his wife had been invited by Frank and his wife, June Leaf, and then, shortly after their second visit to Mabou, Frank would pass away in 2019, aged 94. Marcopoulos’ brilliant photobook “Ainsi Soit-Il” is partly a personal diary of the time spent with Frank, this giant of the photography world (Marcopoulos describes his familiarity with the view in Mabou despite never having been there, simply from having seen it in Frank’s photographs), on some of his last days on earth. Marcopoulos shows the house, the nearby woods, the stunning views, Frank’s living room, his wrinkles, his frailty. But more than that, “Ainsi Soit-Il” also explores Nova Scotia as a place and as a cultural region, mentions its past and the traces left behind by history.