Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alan Vega & Christophe at La Machine - Pigalle

A missed call and a message on my cell phone last thursday informed me that my best friend Jean-Guillaume was in his way to Paris. Few hours later I picked him at Gare de Lyon and we went directly with his suitcase at the Alan Vega& Christophe concert at La Machine in Pigalle. An amazing 40 minutes (only yes but it was worth it) with living legends, symbols of the punk movement deepen into electro waves. The electrical crooner sang with his wife and son and even if he was very drunk the concert was great. Christophe was even better. The next day we met Alan Vega at la Galerie du Jour for a dedication session. By writing that it looks like I am a big fan which I am certainly not but I like both of them and encountering legends is still pleasant.


And a little surprise the next day at La Galerie du Jour Agnès b. Alan Vega was there!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Le Château Albatart

On tuesday I had an interview with The Laboratoire a contemporary art (more design oriented) centre that mixes scientific researches to the artistic ones. The meeting went well, the director was really kind and I'm expecting my personal invitation to the next exhibition opening that will feature William Kentridge, the south african artist I particularly like. Since I am 23 I am in a strange peaceful mood with this kind of stupid smile I can't never get rid of so I decided to walk from the Laboratoire to my place in the latin area of Paris.

Ipod on I was dreaming eyes opened when suddenly I met a really old friend who was in my graffiti crew a million years ago. A funny scene at the moment because I am applying to an urban art heading and I was actually trying to get back to these kind of roots I almost have packed into 'old boxes". We went to take a coffee then to la Galerie du Jour Agnès b. where we saw the 'Musique Plastique' exhibition (I will post later an article about it). Later on the evening he brought me to the Château Albatart where we met other really good and old friends of mine.

The Château Albart is a squat in central Paris occupied by artists in the old insurance offices 'Groupama'. Once a week they are organizing concerts, this time it was reggae- I should say unfortunately but no the concert was great and I am in my Selah Sue period right now. Anyway I met some interesting people, and above all a street art crew named Obliké. They were really kind and they've succeed to create a coherent and harmonious wall drawing constructed at three. I saw an empty space at the left of the drawing and I wanted seriously to propose them to draw a UFO but I did'nt dare to... Hundred of free offices in central Paris are disused, confronting this statement to the housing crisis and the youth unemployement it is quite paradoxal.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Magnum photographer: MARTIN PARR at the Centre Georges Pompidou

On the top of Living in Paris Pro's list there is the infinity of cultural events, artistic conferences and exhibition openings that take place everyday.
Although my timetable and my 12hours sleeping nights (I don't fit with the parisian rythm), I went yesterday to Martin Parr conference at the Centre Georges Pompidou.
The conference was organized through an interview handled by François Ebel, the programming director of Arles photography festival.
During an hour and a half, Parr answered with his magical british accent doubled of this kind of casualness I particularly like to questions about his work and the political filter through he frames the world.
First, technically he explained how he quit B&W to digital color photography assuming that the latter one was about using commercial symbols and advertising language. It also helps the entertaining ingredient he considers as the best canal to popularize political messages. The subversion is provided by a ring flash (usually used for medical purposes) combined with the day light and a macro lens.
Second, Parr' style is axed along several multifaceted works: Parr is a documentary, fashion, and art photographer at the same time. A large spectrum of activites that has conducted to a controversial reception by his peers. Indeed, when the question of his entry in the Magnum Agency raised in the art world, photographers represented in the board of trustees (Henri Cartier Bresson and Georges Roger) where opposing arguments about the Parr's case. Only a few years later and after Martin Parr exhibition at Le Jeu de Paume in Paris where Henri Cartier Bresson showed off, a fax was sent the same night mentioning "You come from another planet. Henri Cartier Bresson." Yet, his cooptation in the agency was concluded.
When talking about his favortie- not to say redundant - themes it is useful to note that he considers himself as a humanistic photographer interested in capturing globalization. Further than globalization, he is engaged in finding civilization's shifts accross social phenomenons. In the serie Small World (1995) Parr shows a globalized consumption society: tourism. Tourism is the first global industry just before oil. Through these clichés he raised a manifesto between the myth people bring in mind when visiting touristic poles and the reality they discover. Phone Book is also a manifesto of an interconnected global world. This serie features people phoning with what is considered now as antique cellular phones. It is a basic concept extended to the entire world as a flux.
Parr is a collectionner more than a photographer. Photography is only an easy way to collect the Signs of the Times: interior's photographs exhibited across motorways, political figures that live the public scene by leaving a trace upon the present. It is where Parr's work takes all its sense. He is an archeologist collectioning, putting in echo, repertoring, classifying present myths to create a stoned way by wich future generations will be able to come back to understand a segment of human history.
Recently, Parr accepted a command from the Barbès area in Paris. This area is knowed in Paris for welcoming the largest part of muslim community. Mediated by the extreme right in France using pictures of the community praying in the streets to communicate the message that they are occupying the France territory. It is terryfying to ear that, and not because the leader of this political group uses a term carrying an history that should be left to the past but because this people don't have any religious places to pray and against their integrity they do it on the ground of the streets. In my opinion I think it is beautiful, it shows a struggle of the belief and the soul against and I am glad Martin Parr thinks the same. The photographs will be presented very soon and I will post a article on it.

Aliénor Meyer.