Sunday, 31 August 2008

day 155

L'Institut du Monde Arabe
mum arrived yesterday and so we went to L'Institut du Monde Arabe and went up on the roof to take tea and look at the people below.

it's our last day in cité today and it's a bit sad. three more days in paris...


Saturday, 30 August 2008

day 154

Musée du Louvre at night
I was walking back from a friend's atelier this morning and I looked around me and remembered how amazingly beautiful paris is. even walking through the car park back to my studio was charming.

the first time I came to paris as an adult was in 1998 and I remember being shocked at how people living here didn't see the beauty and history around them. I commented about this to a friend and he said that australian's are the same with space - we don't notice how much space we take up, how much space we need and now expect.

I never thought I'd take this beauty for granted, but walking through a corridor that was built 300 years ago and gently opened up to the sun reminded me that I now expect to wake up to this - and, that I've stopped seeing it. this feels like home now.

I'm going to miss the daily interactions, the discussions about art, the support from other artists and other practices. and I will miss being surrounded by beauty. this constructed and artificial place that houses 100s of cultures and myriad art forms and practices. how will I adjust again?

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Friday, 29 August 2008

day 153

tonight we went to the left bank to drink some wine and experience the amazing array of music and dance that was on offer. there are a series of little amphitheatres that house different music (sometimes live) and different dancing: from tango, to swing, to a latin hip swirl that I am deeply envious of.

here is a little of the envious dance that I must find out the name of...

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

day 152

stade de france
the stade de france is the site of great national pride: in was built for the 1998 FIFA world cup where france won the final by defeating brazil 3-0. who would have thought?!

this is the stunning view of this national icon from the local metro stop in the suburban area of saint-denis. definitely worth checking out...

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

day 151

Jerome Mesnager
today I went to the studio of nemo and his fellow stencil artist jerome mesnager who creates ghost-like dancing creatures throughout paris. sometimes these ghosts meet nemo and they have been seen together doing circus tricks and sharing a glass of wine on various buildings throughout paris.

montparnassetheir studio is in romanville, right around the corner from where we stay in the suburbs and it now makes perfect sense that these stencils should meet socially.
unfortunately today the artists themselves weren't in, but these images were taken directly accross the street on bvd. henri barbusse and it was just lovely see a differnt context for these transitory creations...

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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

day 150

it was day 150 and I wanted to do something special. so I went up the paris version of the canberra telecom tower: tour montparnasse. here, we were told, we had the best view of paris: and this is what I saw (click to enlarge)...

it was nearly as good as the canberra version but to make things more special they marked our height above ground on every stair and every wall...

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Monday, 25 August 2008

day 149

I got up super early this morning and took a coffee and a croissant down to the seine to see what might happen. things always happen here if you let them. and things did: the aqua-police did a synchronised swimming display that seemed to last for over ten minutes and then the state department decided to pull up the road while cleaning it at the same time (the green men cleaning have just walked out of shot but I can still hear them flushing the construction site with water and then earnestly sweeping it)...

everyone seemed calm yet confused. I love paris. even at 7am when everything is still sleepy...


Sunday, 24 August 2008

day 148

gare de l'est Barbès
another rainy night near gare de l'est...


Saturday, 23 August 2008

day 147

Marché Barbès
we are leaving cité soon, so we decided to make an indian feast to celebrate the gorgeous friends and fellow artists we have met here. we went to buy supplies at Marché Barbès in the 18th, which is, as well as being super cheap, a complete sensory and experiential immersion.

Marché Barbès
the bizarre order within the chaos that has to be breathed to be believed. this place is yet another world within paris that I only discovered today. after 5 months...


Friday, 22 August 2008

day 146

Parc André Citroën
after work today we went on a tram adventure to the parc andré citroën in the 15th arrondissement.

Parc André Citroën
these fountains are super fun but are surrounded by very stern signs that absolve the marie de paris of any injury that might befall you should you slip anywhere near them. but the fountains are only one of many joys in this parc that has colour coded gardens for touch, smell and movement and entire glass houses dedicated to both white and black plants...


Thursday, 21 August 2008

day 145

mannie drawing
mannie & maluti drawing at an impromptu party...

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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

day 144

our front gates at cité...


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

day 143

paris plages just keeps getting better. it has a temporary pool, beside the fake beach, next to the river...

I'm not sure I could have asked for more - except palm trees but they have provided those as well.
sadly it has rained steadily since I took this shot this afternoon...

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Monday, 18 August 2008

day 142

the fabulous andréa at the starcooker in the marais...

we were taken to dinner by some lovely family friends and andréa was our waiter who perfectly complemented the most gorgeous wallpaper and décor I have seen in ages...

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Sunday, 17 August 2008

day 141

Les Olympiades
studio chair and table from the mezzanine above...

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Saturday, 16 August 2008

day 140

Les Olympiades
in honour of the olympic games I thought I'd try to capture one of the many brilliant efforts of parisian urban planning (remember la défense?) where the ideals exceed the reality (we might also add bibliothèque to this list but another day...).

in the 1960s this arrondissment, the 13th, was cleared to make way for a brilliant new urban plan that was to create a more livable paris with buildings that were tall, more luminous and separated heavy traffic from side streets. this project was called italie 13 (taken from the arrondissment and the nearby place d'Italie).

and so the area was cleared, buildings were built and it was hoped that the young urban professionals would flock to this area to work, play and live a better life.

alas, (not surprisingly) no one wanted to leave their cosy, dirty and sexy inner parisian arrondissments and it became a ghost town. the project was stopped in the 1970s (without the parks that were also planned) and because it was ugly and unwanted it was also really cheap, so the massive influx of vietnamese refugees who needed somewhere to live ended up here. later, other asian immigrants joined the vietnamese and this is now the largest asian area in paris.

but what is left of italie 13? not many of the ideals can be clearly identified, but there are a series of phenomenally ugly buildings all named after cities who have hosted past olympics: Anvers, Athènes, Cortina, Helsinki, Londres, Mexico, Sapporo, and Tokyo. this housing project, and the surrounding quartier, is now colletively referred to as les olympiades.

this photo was taken next to tower tokyo and behind the peking-duck shop....


Friday, 15 August 2008

day 139

catherine bailey (an australian painter) dancing outside my window...

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Thursday, 14 August 2008

day 138

super fun parade
we went for a picnic by the seine to say goodbye to some austrian artists who are leaving and en route we saw a very long (and heavily guarded) parade of pilgrims. they were celebrating the night before the assumption of the virgin mary and walked her statue from notre dame down the edge of the siene.

the return trip was slightly shorter as there were ten tourists boats who brought them back up the seine, with mary on the first boat and the pilgrims on the next nine...

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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

day 137

paris plage
while the boys down at paris plages don't take their game as seriously as those at the luxembourg gardens, the game of pétanque here is still worth having a bit of an arguement about now and again...

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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

day 136

every night at the same time, swallows flock around the roof tops of cité.
this was taken from the my studio doorway...

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Monday, 11 August 2008

day 135

we went to dinner and an indian guy walked past selling these beautiful little flowers individually tied with threads of cotton. in the 10th arrondissement these sellers are everywhere. the flowers smell amazing and they are now turning from white to pink...


Sunday, 10 August 2008

day 134

there was dancing and headphones and binoculars.
I've put a longer description in the comments section...

it was a duet with arun, an australian choreographer now living in madrid...

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Saturday, 9 August 2008

day 133

we will be dancing...

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Friday, 8 August 2008

day 132

arun, an australian choreographer, arrived today for a few days and so I took him down to paris plages to see the strangeness in person. this 'beach' has been built on voie georges pompidou, which is a major street and tunnel complex next to the seine. it's now open to walk through - and so we did...

arun in front of the emergency alarm inside the tunnel.

I was quite sure we were going to be run over but it was, instead, a ghost tunnel full of smog, perspex lighting and mosaic tiles: a bizarre insight into a forbidden world!

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

day 131

look, I'm not doing this for myself: it's for the art...

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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

day 130

sunset at cite
the windows at cité during sunset.

tonight we had dinner outside on our 'terrace', which is actually a little step in front of our studio doors overlooking the carpark. but we are making asphalt the new wood...


day 129

sunrise at bastille
sunrise at bastille...


Monday, 4 August 2008

day 128

near our studio, one of the roads next to the seine has been turned into paris plages: the paris beach...

as you enter this beach wonderland there are mist makers and everyone and their dog is is cooling down and having fun.

should you get bored with the mist however, there are bands, pétanque areas, bars, sun lounges, a swimming pool, change areas and, of course, 3m sq of real sand for you to sunbake on.
trés important when a parisian bikini may only get a few weeks a year to be seen...

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Sunday, 3 August 2008

day 127

party candles...

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Saturday, 2 August 2008

day 126

the studio
hello boys: now, this is a studio!

I was hoping this photo might actually convey the enormity of the space (in paris terms), but that dark patch you see on the top of the photo? well, it's actually the upstairs mezzanine area that’s next to another entire room that is the bedroom. we have gone to heaven and yes, we are having a party tomorrow to celebrate!

I've already scheduled a show here next week: a duet I will make with an australian choreographer from madrid. there is so much space I wasn't sure what else to do...

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Friday, 1 August 2008

day 125

last day in the suburbs
4 months ago I arrived and took a jet-lagged photograph of these exact same pegs for day one. I'd just arrived, was waiting to go to my studio at cité des arts and was full of anticipation, expectations and exhaustion.

now, 124 days later, just as I am about to discover a new studio at cité and new potential in myself, I'm thinking about what has transpired over these months. the immediate response is that I feel settled. quieter. and more resolved to create things with more space around them.

I'm not sure what that could mean once I return to familiar surroundings in australia, but for the next month, the world is, again, my oyster and I intend to make the most of it...