Saturday, 31 May 2008

day 63

prosciutto wrapped goats cheese
we went to burgundy for a few days and did some of my favourite things...
goat's cheese wrapped in proscuiutto, garlic snails in butter and a new cheese to accompany each wine.

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Friday, 30 May 2008

day 62

mannie's pink scarf
mannie and her pink scarf after an exhausting game of ping-pong at the park.
both of which (pink and ping-pong) seem très du jour for all ages here...

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Thursday, 29 May 2008

day 61

palais de tokyo
a most stunning night. an opening at the palais de tokyo, a crashed VIP cocktail party and dancing all night to the music of underground by goran bregovic. perfect nights happen so rarely and always when they are least expected or most needed...

and yes, the blur behind me is the eiffel tower. could you die?

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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

day 60

invalides & the Tomb of Napoléon
the courtyard of invalides, built by louis XIV for his returning wounded soldiers (without any disabled access we noted), with the tomb of napoléon shining in the background...

grass police
so, I don't want to go on about it, but there is something strange about a country who employs men to stand around all day and whistle at people who step on the grass. we went to the front of napoléon's tomb (which, while it's no taj mahal,
let me assure you the french know how to guild), and this guy was standing there, whistle in hand, ready to pounce on anyone daring to step on the sacred grass: two measly squares of it. we stayed until we heard a stern whistle - and then day 60 was complete...

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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

day 59

wet rue de rivoli
when it rains here paris makes sense: the city is washed clean, the grey roofs become bold statements against the grey sky and the light reveals subtle shades of the buildings that before just looked dirty.
in the wet, this city is transformed...

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Monday, 26 May 2008

day 58

helge & darani
sharing some wine and conversation with helge larsen & darani lewers in their studio next door:
australian contemporary jewellery artists who hate technology but love cake...

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Sunday, 25 May 2008

day 57

mairie des lilas
a gorgeous algerian man at mairie des lilas in the suburbs...

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Saturday, 24 May 2008

day 56

denis and the lobsters
my french friend denis reminds me of my dad:
generous, a great cook and stunningly good at looking after people.
it was eurovision song contest tonight and denis cooked lobsters on the bbq for us in honour of australia being the only country outside europe that cares! a brilliant night with the russian winners removing their white shirts while ice skating and playing the violin. thank you eurovision...

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Friday, 23 May 2008

day 55

arch de la defence
back to arche de la défense again tonight to see the jérôme bel work the show must go on.
fred was performing in it and it's just a fantastic work.

this indoor vertical garden was captured en route home. this place never ceases to amuse me. I tried to capture the essence that is la défense, but my camera hasn't quite got the power to document that much ugliness. perhaps it has to be experienced to be believed...

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Thursday, 22 May 2008

day 54

after such a lovely experience yesterday, we decided to see richard serra's counterpoint to promenade – an older work called clara-clara that was made in 1983 and is installed in the tuileries gardens. I’ve written a bit about it in the comments section…

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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

day 53

richard serra
today at the grand palais, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, we saw monumenta 2008 featuring the visual artist richard serra. the work, that filled the entire space, was called promenade and it was exceptional. five large steel plates, placed at slight angles along the axis of this enormous building. the work was about the act of contemplation: us, just walking and looking, in this beautiful building. and it was a profound experience - these photos cant ever capture it.

serra said about the work: there is no content within the plates - it's a steel plate - the real content of the work is the viewer walking through and the viewer experiencing his or her own experience over time.

richard serra
it is the walking and looking and perceiving - the work is activated by the movement of the audience through it. .......
it was completely inspirational. this is what I came to paris for...

a choreographic work was also created for the opening called unlimited walks.

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

day 52

gordon in the metro
walking through chatelet metro after seeing a sasha waltz work at theatre de la ville.

we saw the 1993 work travelogue 1, and although it's an old work, I thought it would be amazing: like watching an early pina bausch or DV8 work - they can still shatter you. but this didn't.
none of us ever think our works will date, but the impact of fashion is insidious. so it was interesting to see a well known company with a work that, although obviously amazing at the time, was clearly of its time, which was now, just a bit ordinary.

one of the characters in american beauty says that there is nothing worse than being ordinary. but dance is hard - we expect it to be of the moment, but also want it to be timeless: yet another dance dichotomy...

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Monday, 19 May 2008

day 51

atelier de paris
martine taking a shot of the daily shot.

tonight we went to la cartoucherie, an old munitions factory on the outskirts of paris which has been transformed into a series of performance spaces. ros crisp, andrew morrish & friends were performing in caroline carlson's atelier and every australian interested in dance and his dog, was there for the fun...

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Sunday, 18 May 2008

day 50

rue de rivoli
reflecting on rue de rivoli

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Saturday, 17 May 2008

day 49

the farm
the french ministry of culture has a ‘small’ program dedicated to amateur dance. groups can apply for funds from a pool of 150 000€ to re-mount works by established professional choreographers to encourage a more sophisticated understanding of dance at a grass roots level.
this old farm, converted to the theatre la ferme du buisson (again in the suburbs), hosted this years’ presentation of the works, which were quite inspiring: works I’ve never seen live, performed by people without much training but completely in love with the piece. even the rain was lovely.

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Friday, 16 May 2008

day 48

I went to the suburbs to see dance, got lost, got caught in a thunderstorm and then came home defeated. but on endless public transport I had time to ponder the dance I've seen and wondered if we dance-artists are sometimes a danger to ourselves...

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

day 47

I was up near stalingrad - I've been told it's the new hip part of town - which to me, just seems ugly, poor and with more graffiti than berlin. as I was taking a photo of a particularly ugly wall, these two raced over and started telling me that I couldn't take photos of the graffiti.
'oh god' I thought, 'here we go again': yesterday I was accosted by a screaming gang of under tens who were vocally adament that I could not take photos of nemo.
I asked these girls why I couldn't take a shot, and they said: because it wasn't pretty and perhaps I should take a photo of them.

watch out boys!


Wednesday, 14 May 2008

day 46

today I went looking again for nemo. and I found him...
this work was apparently created in the 1980s by an artist who was a maths professor by day, and stenciled in his neighbourhood by night. his nickname 'nemo' was apparently inspired by the detective comic, little nemo that came out in 1905 by Winsor McCay - which I found out here.

the sign next to our man is threatening prosecution if rubbish is dumped...
apparently most stencils are in the 20th arr. where 'nemo' lived. here is an essay about this area.


all of these little ones are part of a wide work which is very beautiful, but to capture it all I'll have to go back another day..


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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

day 45

I was (strangely) up at dawn and saw this lone little plane making the most of paris at its quietest...

I’ve been thinking about desire today, and what happens when it evaporates: what becomes of a life when the wanting disappears? can anyone go forward without the desire for change, for movement, for more?

I heard what a feeling from flashdance today and there is a line in it that says: ‘take your passion, and make it happen…’ but what happens to people who have lost the desire to make anything happen? society doesn’t like a person without desire. they have slipped and we get embarrassed.

everyday I walk past at least three or four people patiently sitting, on streets, in metros, with signs asking for money. did they once have desire and then lose it? how did that happen? who will 'lose' it next?

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Monday, 12 May 2008

day 44

michel taking a break outside the underground where he was playing...

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Sunday, 11 May 2008

day 43

cat lady
at the small park next to our place, amidst the 'death by ping-pong' games and the football being played on 3msq of dirt, was this lady walking her cat...

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Saturday, 10 May 2008

day 42

we went to the opera today to see two mats ek works. the first one was made in 1978 and had tears, female betrayal, sexual repression and ultimately death. the second was made in 1997 when the world was a very different place: it had equality, dislocation, desperation, but possiblilities.

I remember meeting a woman on a plane once and telling her the story of Giselle - sex; betrayal; death; forgiveness; words that sum up what were then, common thematics. the thing about dance, is that because we always need to be ‘of the moment’, we are also victims of fashion, and becuase of that, our works can, on some level, also map fashion. or taste. or generalised beliefs.

showing two works made twenty years apart was really interesting. gordon liked the first one, and I liked the second. but we both loved the little booth and the breathtaking ornamentation. paris opera has to be experienced at least once in your lifetime…

I'll try to come back and describe these works in the comments section later.

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Friday, 9 May 2008

day 41

metro girls
on the way to chinatown today I sat near this gorgeous girl Oumaima and her beautiful mother Saumia.

metro girls small

they are from algeria and have been here for three years.
they love paris, but miss home...
arriving in china town I was suddenly home: the noise, the chaos, the smells - it was so familiar.
I love paris, but when you travel there are always some things you miss: when I'm here, it's asian food...

being here has brought back to my consciousness ideas of colonisation: whether by force or by food?

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

day 40

love on île Saint-Louis
at an exhibition of patti smith's photographs and film at the fondation cartier.
there was a quote from smith that said that whenever she was overwhelmed and needed some time to herself, she'd get out her camera and the world suddenly became quiet. I think I know what she means.

this is another building designed by jean nouvel - filled with glass, a tropical garden and a stunning commissioning program. it is, unfortunately, more gorgeous on the web than in reality, but I liked the art...

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

day 39

love on île Saint-Louis
these hearts are all over l'île saint-louis - this one is on a pedestrian crossing.

as you know, I’m wandering around paris with a dodgy little digital camera taking a shot each day and sending them to you. but after nearly 40 days of receiving images, what does it mean to you?

do you, (like mum & dad) get up each morning and chat over coffee about the image? do you forget to log on and then get ten images in your inbox? or glance only at the image and imagine where it could be?

and, what does it mean to know that there is a small community of people, many of whom know each other, all of whom know me, who are all getting the same image, every day, at the same time?
do you wait for their comments? wondering who will see what, and whether they will leave a trace on the page, changing how you see that image for the day?
and seeing their comments, do you want to know who your fellow image-seekers are? or is it enough to know that most are in australia, many in brisbane, some artists and some not, and that all know me somehow - many through dance.

I started this because it was quite dark in my world, and one of the main reasons I became a choreographer was to connect. but darkness sometimes inhibits the desire to connect, which makes things darker. so, as a way out, I thought I’d find a simple way to map my time here and connect with you.

but after nearly 40 days, not only am l connected to you, my paris daily group of 55 people, but this process has also started to connect with the kind of work I am passionate about. and it’s re-engaging me with the reasons I’m here.

many of you have seen my work. many of you know that for me, an audience's experience is central to the process and
vital to the integrity of the work: all the decisions in the studio reflect that desire to connect and engage.
what I’m trying to say is that you have started to make those ideas happen within this photographic forum – your thoughts, your ideas, your opinions – these are, to me, more important and interesting than the image, or the process of taking it.

whether that is simply by the act of regularly opening up an image sent specifically to you, or articulating your thoughts for your co-creators to see, or sending me a link to a relevant article - your implicit role is now central to this project. so, be encouraged to voice your opinions, leave your thoughts, and engage with each other if that is of interest. and if not, know that you are part of a small engaged community and your thoughts are always welcome via email.
this is now a performance work in which you are active makers: a collaborative work with 55 co-creators. and while other audience members drop in to see what we are doing, the
paris daily group are my trans-continental partners in crime.

if you have any thoughts on how that role suits you – I’d love to hear them. x

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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

day 38

nemo man
look who I found again today!

nemo man
perhaps our 'no one' man is someone after all...

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Monday, 5 May 2008

day 37

île Saint-Louis
lost shoe on l'île saint-louis
this island is almost too gorgeous so it's nice to know it used to be named 'the island of the cows'...

Sunday, 4 May 2008

day 36

this was taken at square villemin and I went in to take this shot because I've got a theory about culture. and, being australian, I quite like to state my opinions as fact. which are in the comments section...

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Saturday, 3 May 2008

day 35

today we went on a day trip to belgium. brugge is a small town called the 'venice of the north' and is so charming even the tourists look inviting. new streets are built to look 400 years old and the basilica has a 'blood soaked cloth with the congealed blood of christ' which you can line up and touch, for a price.

en route to one of the 678 shops selling hand made chocolate
where the makers have shaved their hands so as not to spoil the chocolate...

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Friday, 2 May 2008

day 34

skating at les halles - on a friday night this place looks like one of the scarier suburbs of canberra...

always on the lookout for a good mover...

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Thursday, 1 May 2008

day 33

alleyway lady
1st of may: I thought I would take part in rallies or french protests or at the very least a march uniting the workers of the world. but no, just another public holiday. when will I learn that expectations lead to hell?
but once I let it go, this delight revealed herself to me.

big alleyway ladynot entirely sure what's going on here...

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