Friday, 26 September 2008

all together now

paris the movie...
six months in six minutes? who said it couldn't be done?
this wasn't quite what I'd planned to do with these photos (as you'll see) but slideshows are so last year...

Friday, 12 September 2008

the end

last day art
my flight home had technical problems and so I was forced to stay in LA for 24 hours.
without a spare pair of knickers I was, understandably, a bit upset. but now I think it's a god-send.

this trip was unexpected. I often feel that the art I desire and make doesn't quite fit in the australian dance scene. so while I was desperate to go to paris, it wasn't something I was counting on. the irony of me getting something at the right time hasn’t gone unnoticed.

this trip to paris has been life changing. everyone goes through a time when things are imperceptibly wrong and we (australians) have so little to complain about that sometimes we just keep pushing.

coming back through the US and being forced to stay longer in a lonely city has allowed me some time to reflect on this trip. there are artists and discussions that have changed me. paris has changed me. new and old friends have changed me. talking each day with you has changed me. and I’m hoping to find that those changes stay with me.

I want to thank the australia council for keeping this strange studio and this rare open time for artists. It’s very brave. and quite spectacular. paris is not really a city for making contemporary art and so the space becomes a city of thinking and experiencing.

if you can't click on the above video, I've decided to make a short film about paris with some of the left over photos I took. I'll send it through as soon as I can.

thank you for opening your hearts to me. you can never know how much safer I feel and how the ground beneath me feels like it might be solid again.

love clare x


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

day 165

performance art
last day in the US, so I thought I'd meet some performance artists to see what was happening here in the portland underground. I went to a funky local coffee shop where lee kyle (left) and kaj-anne pepper were working, hanging out and talking about art.

lee currently has a one man show where he covers himself in blood while singing show tunes and burning the american flag. he showed us some pictures of a recent performance where he added a interesting twist (literally) where he removed all of his clothes and then inserted an oscar up his rectum.
funny thing is he seemed super nice over coffee!

last day of my adventure tomorrow. not sure what I'll find in transit but I've adored looking for things to share with you...

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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

day 164

after lots of art today, two pageantry choreographers (think marching band / dance team), took me to the gorgeous columbia river gorge. my american dreams came true when a stretch-hummer (above) arrived and spewed out a gaggle of 70+ year olds with champagne, attitude and walking sticks to see the view.

after the nature, we had cocktails at a strange gay 'cheers' bar (where the waitors wore towels and nothing else) to numb the memory of the portuguese dance where the solo performer 'inhabited' a paper bag for 30 minutes. the festival is super fun...

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Monday, 8 September 2008

day 163

tricycle on the corner of martin luther king and freemont...

today was a jérôme bel day: firstly an artist talk and then a performance - his duet work 'Pichet Klunchun and Myself'.

so much to say - I was in paris for five months and I had to come to portland to hear and see this french choreographer reveal himself. stunning work. stunning words. it was quite liberating and I'll come back tomorrow to talk more.

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Sunday, 7 September 2008

day 162

as we were driving next to her, ophelia told us that she got this gorgeous bike for her 8th birthday. she was on her way to open her downtown boutique where she specialises in sunglasses for every occasion...

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Saturday, 6 September 2008

day 161

fremaont bridge
I'm in portland for the TBA Festival and it seems very different from houtson. of course, everything is so different from paris that I'm not sure how to interact with it.

I miss places that are old: places where age isn't noticed.

but here, it's new. super new, like us - we are essentially new. even with very old cultures that influence us, our architecture and cities, they are new, and it's apparent everywhere from the building materials, to the width of the streets...

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Friday, 5 September 2008

day 160

louisiana street
reflecting in the reflections of downtown houston...

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Thursday, 4 September 2008

day 159

I spent the day at Diverseworks, a multi-discipline arts space in houston where I will be working next year. this place feels right: like art is meant to be made here. it's housed in a re-claimed warehouse with a series of commissioned art works hanging outside. this work 'mickey' was made by joyce pensato...

houston street
I'm not sure I will have time to really look at this city properly, but my first impressions are that although paris is now like a beloved old coat, houston is so shiny and new that it reminds me of australia: empty spaces, strips of reflective buildings, large concrete roads and no one on the streets...

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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

day 158

british airways
a day transiting from an old familiar city to a new alien one...


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

day 157

regrette rien
regret nothing..........

"no, I don't regret anything. neither bad or good.".....

katrin's new work based on the edith piaf song seemed pretty appropriate for 5 months of introspection, discovery and revelations.... thank you for joining me - you have been delightful... x

(if I can, next stop: shopping malls in houston)

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Monday, 1 September 2008

day 156

katherine's fish trap
packing, cleaning, storing, giving away, more packing, moving, cleaning again, re-distributing, traveling.

last day at cité so we visited some of our fellow artists to say goodbye. this is katherine's (from australia) new work that is being drafted on NAB posters brought from australia. some art and a nice cup of tea makes everything better...

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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...


Thursday, 31 July 2008

day 124

romainville boys
the delightful men of romainville.
betrand and julian taking an early evening break outside from the oppressive heat of the day...

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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

day 123

suburban roses
today was the perfect day to enjoy the sun and smell the roses.
out here is quieter, cleaner and slower: other than the odd statue, paris and her suburbs seem to have very little in commmon...

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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

day 122

stencil in the suburbs
we are back in the suburbs again until our studio is ready on the 1st. there is a strange déjà vu happening here so I thought I would run with it and see how nemo was doing. alas, since the first time I shot him on day 11, things seem to have changed.

losing this nemo, who was pretty special in my heart, has made me a bit sad. he was my first!
but one of the things I discovered when I found this particular nemo, was that opening your eyes and really seeing the world around you, is something that takes practice...

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Monday, 28 July 2008

day 121

metro back in paris, waiting at gare de l'est...


Sunday, 27 July 2008

day 120 - london

mother digging your mother in east london...

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Saturday, 26 July 2008

day 119 - london

telephone wires wired for sound in hackney, east london...

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Friday, 25 July 2008

day 118 - london

east london east london sign with optical illusion bricks...

east london this part of london was completely bombed in WWII and the 1950s reconstruction seems to have a charming linking thematic of 'ugly'. this delight is waiting to be pulled down to make way for progress but ironically it's now so 'out' it's almost 'in'...

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

day 117 - london

simon ellissimon ellis (a new zealand choreographer working in london) has been commissioned for the place prize. he is creating a gorgeous solo about a conversation with an icon of australian dance, which has become a duet with a predecessor, an influence and a ghost. after watching rehearsal I saw him off at the tube station (click to see more)...

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

day 116 - london

soho market alex in his market stall in soho. I asked if I could take his photo and he said he was an old hand at being in the centre of a good shot. are you loving his fruit décor...?

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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

day 115 - berlin

world clock the television tower and the world clock: two iconic images of the GDR and the successes of east berlin. iconic buildings that represented different stereotypes depending on where you saw them from.
and now, they are have been re-absorbed into the 'new berlin' but are still traces, scars, reminders...

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Monday, 21 July 2008

day 114 - berlin

cemetery borderpatrol limit
it's impossible to convey the power and brilliance of daniel libeskind's jewish museum in berlin. the architecture has been created to evoke physical responses: narrow uneven corridors, voids without lighting or heating, sloping walls and spaces that can be seen but not accessed. it's one of the most astounding buildings I've ever visited. and I visit it every time I'm here.

last time I came however, there was an addition of an installation in one of libeskind's 'voids' - a space that runs the height of the building and has no lighting or heating. the installation is called fallen leaves and today I took some pictures...

patrol limitvoid hinterland
the work was created by menashe kadishman and is both a memorial to the holocaust, and also dedicated to all innocent victims of war.
the artist asks you to walk over the hundreds of faces made of sheet metal. but when you do, they echo and reverberate throughout the space and so once you are walking in the installation all you want to do is get out. but if you leave quickly there are ramifications: more noise and a difficult uneven surface. this work is eerie, and makes you quiet and reflect on the faces you are walking over. it's a profound experience, in a profoundly experiential building...

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Sunday, 20 July 2008

day 113 - berlin

void hinterlandpatrol limit
after the 'wall pickers'...

patrol limitcemetery border
these sections are now being preserved before they disappear entirely...

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Saturday, 19 July 2008

day 112 - berlin

east side gallery
'the kiss' depicting Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (USSR) and Erich Honecker (GDR) greeting each other.
the original photograph is equally as passionate although not in a trabant...

east side gallery
these images were taken at the famous east side gallery which is a 1.3km stretch of remaining wall that was painted by artists in 1990 to celebrate the wall's collapse. it's a bit worse for wear now, but I'll put up some more images here in the next few days...

east side gallery
this piece of the wall is at potsdamer platz which was leveled after WWII and then became a large part of the anti-facist protection barrier during the GDR.

this piece is in front of the new sony centre and says: at this point the first gap appeared in 1989 in the Berlin wall

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Friday, 18 July 2008

day 111 - berlin

patrol limitpatrol limit
the government has meticulously documented traces of the wall and the anti-facist protection barrier and so yesterday we went to find some of them.

these 'goose neck' light posts were designed specifically for the death strip and the numbers printed on them marked the limit of the patrol area. this is limit 35 in section 13...

void hinterlandcemetery border
the photo on the left is a void left in the hinterland on gartenstraße next to the railway. the old wall next to the train lines was used as an additional part of the protection barrier, but we had to climb it to see this void. I knew the void was there (from the government website) but the train wall seemed to present a difficulty in finding it. kindly someone had thought about that and had left foot markings and ropes to get up and over the wall! everything is an adventure here...

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Thursday, 17 July 2008

day 110 - berlin

wall memorial  wall memorial
there is a 'wall memorial' on Bernauer Straße in mitte that has re-constructed a section of the wall, the death strip and its installations and barriers.

on the left you can see how the wall looked and behind it, you can see one of the many cemeteries that was decimated to make way for the death strip. the 'no man's land' photos I took on the first day come from this area. on the right you can see the renovated wall from the western side which would have been convered in graffiti...

wall memorial  wall memorial
this is one of the electrical control boxes situated in the death strip. in the 4th incarnation of the wall (it kept getting improved) there were automatic weapons triggered by trip wires in addition to the numerous guards in the watch towers and flood lights...

the memorial information talks about this section of the wall: "Bernauer Straße became especially symbolic of the inhumanity of the Berlin Wall: Because of the way the border was drawn in this area - the houses on the southern side of the street were in the Soviet sector, while the sidewalks in front of them belonged to the French sector - the Wall had an especially dramatic impact here. When the border troops started walling up the windows on the ground floor of these houses in August 1961, people attempted to escape to the western part of the city through the windows on the upper floors. Pictures of these escape attempts were seen around the world. Later the tenants living on this side of the street were evicted, and the houses were torn down in 1965. Only the ground floor façades remained; these were used as part of the border wall until 1979."

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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

day 109 - berlin

palast der republik palast der republik
I've been riding around trying to capture the traces of buildings that have been lost. there are so many.

there are such clear scars of buildings that have been bombed or pulled down because of damage or because they were in the way of the 'protection barrier'. it's quite disconcerting when you come across holes in the facades that reveal such a clear action. what is even more disconcerting is that although most have been left and are obvious in their disappearance, often things have just been built around these holes (rather than them being re-built which is happening more now), making something completely new, that isn't quite new...

palast der republik palast der republik
there is this gorgeous michael ondaatje poem about scars which questions whether you would tell a new lover about a scar from an incident in the past. do you hide it? or tell them the details about something they can never be involved in? I'm not sure what the answer is in this case...

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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

day 108 - berlin

palast der republik palast der republik
back at the demolision site of palast der republik - this major scar within city is still causing controversy.

this building housed the government of the GDR (and cafes, discoteques and even a cinema) that was built on the even older site of the berlin city palace which was damaged in WWII and consequently pulled down. during the cold war, east berliners used this building to meet, socialise and experience life. it was more than just a government building, it was a symbol of normal (and interesting) life.

palast der republik palast der republik
but after reunification the building ceased to have a use and was re-claimed by artists. it became a haus of experimentation, innovation and amazing experiences. so this symbol of repression also housed hope, experimentation and was the funkiest place in town in two different decades.

a torn city has inhabitants also torn about what should be kept, what is a symbol of opression, what is a symbol of transformation and who should make these decisions...

> go to a lovely film about the palast looking at these ideas here...

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Monday, 14 July 2008

day 107 - berlin

one of hitler's bunkers built for the people in berlin that also housed anti-aircraft guns on its roof.
this bunker is now almost hidden by trees in
Humboldt-Hain park...

after reunification, the government tried to dismantle this bunker but found the infrastructure too solid.
so, they piled the rubble from the aborted attempts near the remains, forming a small hill which is now covered with trees. the remaining half has been left for rock-climbers and the curious...

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Sunday, 13 July 2008

day 106 - berlin

sentry boxsentry box
this watch tower (click to enlarge), now surrounded by pink apartments, is one of the few left in berlin. the official GDR name for the wall, these watch towers and the 'death strip' that had automatic weapons triggered by trip wires, was the anti-facist-protection wall.

the remains of the jagged wall that was part of this anti-facist defense system is about 300 metres from this rare remaining watch tower...

sentry boxsentry box
this watch tower is now a memorial and is called after Gunter Litfin, the first person shot on the
anti-facist-protection wall on the 24th of august 1962 – 11 days after the wall was erected...

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Saturday, 12 July 2008

day 105 - berlin

bullet holesbullet holes
this building has been left untouched since WWII and still has bullet holes everywhere...

bullet holesbullet holes
when I first visited this city ten years ago, there were bullet holes in buildings everywhere. it's not so common now, but the front of this building on
oberberger str. in fashionable mitte, reveals a trace of the unrest that was here for so long. the buildings either side have rendered these traces away, but three doors up, a renovated building has left two large bullet-riddled sections of their facade as a reminder...

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Friday, 11 July 2008

day 104 - berlin

death stripdeath strip
this small ten day project is about berlin scars. so an obvious place to start is with the death strip and the berlin wall. in mitte, the geographic centre of berlin, and part of the old east, the wall took a leap into the west to annex this old centre.
after reunification, this part of town became super-hip. brad pitt has an apartment here. but right in the middle of some of the most expensive real estate in town is part of the old no man's land between the walls, which has still not been re-claimed... (click on images to enlarge)

death strip

death strip
lest we forget: there is no forgetting here. when the wall was erected, all the buildings in this grassy area were removed to make the 'death strip' and the buildings that were left (including these) had their windows blocked up to stop 'escape' - people were even forced to start entering their houses from the back door.

wherever the wall was, the foundations have, where possible, been preserved. this is another angle of the same area on bernauer str. with the edge of the wall scarring across the street as a permanent reminder. this area was one of the most famous streets during the divided city as the walls were so close you could see into the gardens across the 'street'...

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Thursday, 10 July 2008

day 103

make art & love last day in paris for a while. strange to be leaving this little atelier and this small community of artists who have become like another home for us. difficult though this place is, I think I'll miss it: seeing friends in the street, asking how their work is going, watching the development of amazing pieces (pierre's work is finished!), working on projects that have had input from the neighbours, discussing post-colonial art-making issues during communal dinners. it reminds me a bit of my parent's house in the 70s - everyone coming over, bringing plates of food, drinking and discussing life. the support, the friendships.

these days everyone is very busy. there is never enough time, or people are 'stressed' from work. I'm not sure when getting older equated to living less, but this strange community has reminded me that connections are important when making life and making art...

make art & love found this bravely stenciled on the side of the centre pompidou. not sure how long it will last but I thought it was a nice idea to take to the next place...

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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

day 102

baguette everyone loves a cliché. if only there had been a béret...

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

day 101

ping pong tables ping pong tables, after the rain in the early hours of the morning...


Monday, 7 July 2008

day 100

paris signs what does this city mean to us? the visitors, the flâneurs...

10 artists who have been here for a while, came to share their experiences of what it's been like to live and work as an artist in paris. what has it been like for these foreigners, living here and making art? sometimes for months, sometimes for an entire year?
after the initial shock of beauty has gone, what has paris left these strangers?

click meclick here to see the photographs we took today reflecting on our time in paris...

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Sunday, 6 July 2008

day 99

martine martine (from australia) in her writing studio after dinner, cheese & wine.
so very french...

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

day 98

bastille markets the bastille markets on a pouring wet morning - nothing stops the french from shopping...

bastille markets the boys hanging outside the market, watching and smoking and chatting...

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Friday, 4 July 2008

day 97

gay bar in the marais a lovely little bar in the marais where tonight, I had my first gin-fizz...

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

day 96

bikes the courtyard in dusk at 10.30pm...


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

day 95

basket ball young jewish boys playing in their school yard (the school is in the background) around the corner...

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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

day 94

Palast der Republik the construction in the middle of this picture is palast der republik which was built in the 70s to house the east german government. it was built on the site of the berlin city palace that was bombed in WWII and then demolished in the 50s. but now, for a number of reasons (including asbestos walls) it is once again, a building in the process of demolition, symbolically taking years to disappear.

berlin stencilbut most inhabitants of this city take this kind of change for granted: when I asked what had happened to the empty centre of this church, the unemotional answer was: an american bomb.

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Monday, 30 June 2008

day 93

berlin cafe this cafe on schwedter str. in mitte is so über that is has no name. while I joke that things in paris are fabulous, berlin-nonchalance cannot be reproduced lightly...

berlin stencil


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Sunday, 29 June 2008

day 92

euro cup tonight was the final of the euro cup 08 (yep, that's a soccer game - I had to ask too) and we went to an old dis-used transmissions factory in prenzlauer berg to watch it: 800 german fans willing deutchland to be victorious over spain. alas, they lost...

euro cup waiting the line to get into this exclusive venue and remanent of the past went around the block. they locked the gates two hours before it started and inside there was nothing but beer, chorizo and national spirit...

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

day 91

berlin door finally in berlin for a few days of inspiration...

berlin bar I just love this city - it's so comforting. while it's large and unwieldy, it's also like a small town.
it's a city of contrasts and contradictions and scarring. and somehow it's captured my heart...

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Friday, 27 June 2008

day 90

the queen during a 12 hour transit in london en route to berlin...

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Thursday, 26 June 2008

day 89

wooden building an australian-looking building on rue des roisers in saint-ouen - just on the northern border of 'paris city'...

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

day 88

watching the tango in the building next door...

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

day 87

rue des couronnes on rue des couronnes in belleville. the gates in front of the enormous apartment blocks here are quite specific - almost viciously beautiful...

rue de bellevillewalking along rue de belleville...

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Monday, 23 June 2008

day 86

front door today I went to parc de bercy - a large park in the 12e. which is almost set up for strange pictures: rollerbladers skating on graffitied space-age ramps, a waterfall that looked like a contour map of a canyon (complete with dark-brown suds), an enormous sports stadium covered with grass at 45 degree angles, abandoned ping-pong tables with anti-US stickers on them, an entire vineyard in the centre and formal ponds thick with sludge being eaten by carp the size of my arm. strange and exciting was parc de bercy.

but when I came home flushed with the bizarreness (particularly of the grass-covered stadium) I realised that it couldn't be that easy: the 100 shots I'd taken today were inexplicably erased from the camera.

some days here are hard: the internet has mysterious ways, the bathrooms smell like a men's urinal, there has been a recent infestation of lice from the playgroup and the french like bureaucracy even more than the italians.
some days here are easy: the food, the culture, the art that is being generated at cité, the gentle connections and shifts in practice that are being made.

one thing is for sure - nothing much is my decision. which, for a choreographer, although welcome, certainly takes some getting used to...

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Sunday, 22 June 2008

day 85

craig waddel some of craig waddel's (from australia) paintings while he's been at cité...

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

day 84

fete de la musique it's midsummer's night and fête de la musique when the city transforms into a carnival: every hole in the wall and cave underground has music playing. this is at L'Institut du Monde Arabe where everyone was getting down to the funky arabic tunes beneath the hovering cranes from next door...

fete de la musique french-arabic-style kebabs en route home...

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Friday, 20 June 2008

day 83

micadanse party dancing into the early hours at the annual micadanse party in our courtyard...

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

day 82

rue du rosiers rue du rosiers, just after visiting mains d'Œuvres - a multi arts performance venue in the north of paris...


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

day 81

pierre's crochet pierre (from south africa) used to be a painter and now creates works with tonal depth from a single medium. he's been working on this for 5 months and is creating shades and colours with different crochet stitches. when it's finished it will be hung in the middle of the space so you can walk around and see through it. he also embroiders photographs...

pierre's crochet


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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

day 80

rue moreau building on rue moreau near opera bastille
one of the few new buildings in paris that doesn't look like it was built for the set of dr who...


Monday, 16 June 2008

day 79

juan mele juan melé is a painter from argentina, living in buenos-aires.
he told me he's been coming and working at cité each year for the last 20 years...

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Sunday, 15 June 2008

day 78

marais street sign threatening to rain is a parisian habit this summer...

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Saturday, 14 June 2008

day 77

pétanque in the jardin du luxemburg pétanque is a very serious game in france. the rules are simple but there are inevitably fights over the nuances of how they are enforced. the name apparently developed from 'Les Ped Tanco', which, in the southern occitan language means feet together.

pétanque in the jardin du luxemburg while the game is taken very seriously, even more serious is the watching of the game. the luxembourg gardens is the perfect place to enjoy watching the professionals being watched...

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Friday, 13 June 2008

day 76

prue prue (from australia) showing a draft of her new work at the CND studios. she is looking at the amount of energy performing can produce and the amount of energy needed to produce a performance...

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

day 75

katrin's plastic bags katrin ströbel (from germany) is creating a trace of where she has been on every plastic bag she has bought: graffiti she transfers, signs or advertising that affect her or anything else she sees during her travels. every image she re-draws is either imported or exported from france and so the plastic bag is an obvious starting medium when discussing the transference of goods...

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

day 74

waiting for pina 6am at theatre de la ville waiting for pina bausch tickets...

waiting for pinawe waited 5 hours for a ticket, which seemed normal for my fellow parisian dance lovers: pina has the status of a rock idol here. isn't that a lovely thought? I was so elated after getting a ticket that it dispelled my usual cynicism and I metaphorically stag-jumped the whole way home...

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

day 73

washingevery two weeks Mme. S from mali, exchanges our linen in our annex 15 foyer...

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Monday, 9 June 2008

day 72

rocking on the seine a dusk rock concert on the seine - taken from pont de la tournelle...


Sunday, 8 June 2008

day 71

neur tanz we came home from the country to see a german dance work, "das chrom und du" by düsseldorf collective neuer tanz: they unpacked hundreds of books, sang, moved, played the trumpet, walked, changed the records, took their tops off, put them back on and then packed the books back up again.
I liked it, then hated it, then liked it again... and it made me reflect on how harsh we are on our own dance - which is very often clever and well made. why are we more likely to love something average from europe than something really distinctive from home?

neur tanz



Saturday, 7 June 2008

day 70

fred's niece anaëlle on the river mayenne in the west of france...

and her gorgeous sister éléa...

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Friday, 6 June 2008

day 69

saint michel has been built on an island with a massive tidal range (which can reach 15m), so during the day you can walk around it on the sand, but by 7.30 at night the car park is flooded. although there are more tourists here than at eurodisney, the inside (80m above the sea) is as spectacular as the outside...

during the 100 year war, this was the only place in northwestern france not to fall to the english...

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Thursday, 5 June 2008

day 68

les frigos les frigos: an old refrigeration building that was claimed by artists, is now owned by paris city, and where a friend and I went to visit one of the artist studios. during our visit we were both asked 'to sit' for an artist who does nudes. my friend has only been here for 48 hours and parisian clichés are already happening to her. it's taken me two months...

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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

day 67

cité lifteven in paris the mundane can encroach: in the cité lift with the weekly washing...

louvre and then a quick visit to the louvre...

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Tuesday, 3 June 2008

day 66

studioworking after a long-weekend is always hard, so I re-arranged the studio (enlarge) to make it easier...

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Monday, 2 June 2008

day 65

fat man
last day in burgundy started with having breakfast in dijon - the mustard capital of the universe - where we were seated next to this portly young man smoking up a storm and drinking beer at 9am. we were only envious for a short minute though as the day held mustard tasting poured on tap, medieval towns, an active abbey since the 8th C and perhaps some more wine tasting. some of my favourite things...

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Sunday, 1 June 2008

day 64

burgundy cave
still in bugundy and after a morning strolling in between phesants with their feathers still on, cheeses by the truck load and meats that were unrecognisable, we decided to go to one of the famous wine caves.

while the english word cave is grotte in french, and the french word cave simply means cellar for us, the dampness, cobwebs and black widows guarding the entrances, meant these words clearly overlapped.
while the caves (and their owners) were freaky, the wine was delightful...

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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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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

day 32

metro maddness
today was too cold and wet to be believed. so we went on a tour of the art in the metros. we went to the metro bibliothèque françois mitterrand. the guidebook said it was like a cathedral of glass and steel - except that no one noticed as they were running through the station like their life depended on it...

arts et métiersthe train pulling out at arts et métiers...


Tuesday, 29 April 2008

day 31

man on and next to building
another rainy day. near gare de l'est


Monday, 28 April 2008

day 30

homeless in paris

there are several homeless men who sleep in front of the cité des arts. they are there every night with a tent, sleeping bags and even a small television. during the day they clear up and some of their stuff is left near the flower beds opposite the front entrance.


Sunday, 27 April 2008

day 29

red squares

red squares in the marais...

here is the thing. I'm a bit hungover today - last night we went to a super funky party on the 4th floor of an enormous apartment in montmartre overlooking the whole of paris. we cut up the dance floor like it was 1979 and arrived home at 7.30am. so, since I'm ten years older than last time I did that, I'm spending the day in bed. these squares were found, felafel in hand, during my ten minute grease stop in the middle of the day. I thought capturing the funk wasn't very arty: but should I take the camera next time?

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Saturday, 26 April 2008

day 28

rue montorgueil

making dad's kumera tonight and needed spices. my favorite shop, on my favorite street: anything you want, this guy has by the kilo...

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Friday, 25 April 2008

day 27

quai branley

it was anzac day and grandad's anniversary. we went to the anzac ceremony at the arch de triomphe. it's the 90th anniversary of the great war, so they marked it with a flag the size of a small country

we walked in the procession on the champs élysées. we were
pushed in because we were australian. it was quite an
unexpected experience...


Thursday, 24 April 2008

day 26

quai branley

at the entrance of the new musée quai branly. the same architect Jean Nouvel who made the insitute du monde arabe. controversial art inside a gorgeous building. I'm not sure yet what I think - contemporary artists being portrayed in an anthropological setting? but today was for loving everything and the building is sumptuous.

denis and fred cooked quail, asparagus, prosciutto and more. the day has been delightful...

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

day 25


I didn't mean to go to notre dame, I was going to the market next door (to buy €10 of flowers), but it is so gorgeous I had to go in.

I went in and lit a candle for grandma
and mum - in thanks. religious or not, it's a gorgeous place.
joan of arc had her reputation 'rehabilitated' in this church. better late than never...

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

day 24

of all nights not to take my camera! this is, I'm afraid, all you get of the Jan Fabre show I just saw (except the following monologue in the comments section).

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Monday, 21 April 2008

day 23

ballet découpage
today I stumbled across this life-size ballerina in the découpage section of BHV. I thought perhaps this was indicative of where dance stands in french society: in australia, our découpage isles are full of jesus' and puppies.
since I've been here I've not once had to clarify the difference between a choreographer and chiropractor. can a department store reveal such possibilities?

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Sunday, 20 April 2008

day 22

luxemburg gardens
colour co-ordination in the jardin du luxemburg

the light is so different.
even on an overcast day the green has an iridescent quality that almost hurts the eye.


Saturday, 19 April 2008

day 21

gay pubs
it was inevitable that we would end up in a club where a naked man was showering over the bar - we do live in the marais after all...

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Friday, 18 April 2008

day 20

scottish pub
the auld alliance bar: an old alliance between the scottish and the french. strange bedfellows but to prove they were still keen on the french, dogs are allowed inside.

my last day of french classes. I wasn't as bad as I'd expected: lower your expectations and the world is your oyster...

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

day 19

scottish pub
finally someone bought me flowers.
denis, my french friend, said he bought these because they matched my floor.
the frenchies are so considerate...

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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

day 18

le métro renne, direction montparnasse...


Tuesday, 15 April 2008

day 17

today the french teacher made me, in front of the whole class, sing + dance the conjugation of
(to have). he wanted it to the theme of the pink panther...

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Monday, 14 April 2008

day 16

hot chocolate
busy day at the office. andrew morrish came to help...

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Sunday, 13 April 2008

day 15

hot chocolate
making hot chocolate in the studio's kitchen.

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

day 14

never equalled
french contemporary dance in a department store with mandatory gallery, bar and dj station.
this store is so super-funky that even the über people aren't allowed. it's that fabulous.
100sqm of shiny bright floor space with gorgeous people nonchalantly looking at gorgeous things...

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Friday, 11 April 2008

day 13

never equalled
a break in between unpacking.


Thursday, 10 April 2008

day 12

never equalled
"toujours imité, jamais égalé" - always copied, but never equalled. I love it!

this impressive sign is above a hole in the wall in the marais. truly delightful.

finally at cité des arts. it's not quite what I'd expected...

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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

day 11

stencil in the suburbs
It's our last day in the suburbs - we're moving to cité des arts tomorrow.

under the guise of needing some extra milk I made gordon walk to the shops with me so I could get this photo. as we approached I started to practice my pathetic french in case someone was out the front.
"you can't take a photo there" gordon hissed "they're gypsy squatters. they'll say yes, ask you inside for a vodka and the next thing you'll know you will wake up in the ukraine minus a kidney".
but I’ve been wanting to photograph this all week. a good stencil is hard to find over here.
“I’m going to keep walking" he ranted, "if you get taken, I’m dressing up in drag and I’ll pretend to be you for the next three months - no one will ever know. I’ve got your walk down pat. don’t think that I wont”.

no one was outside when I got there, but without a backward glance, gordon continued walking.
next time you see me, check out my legs just in case - gordon's are much nicer...

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Tuesday, 8 April 2008

day 10

L'Institut du Monde Arabe
L'Institut du Monde Arabe. this building is made up of thousands of tiny metal irises that open and close depending on the light outside. a wall that is constantly moving in response to the sun.

it must have been bitterly expensive to build: thousands of tiny mechanised irises.
but they did it because it's beautiful. the building, and the people who wanted it, are an inspiration.

I hoped it would come….

L'Institut du Monde Arabe

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Monday, 7 April 2008

day 9

snow in paris suburbsit snowed. I thought I was just being precious when the spring air made my eyes sting and my throat ache. but it's 11am and the snow isn't going anywhere. I wasn't prepared for this. surprises are good, no?


Sunday, 6 April 2008

day 8

freddydinner at chez fred.

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Saturday, 5 April 2008

day 7

in the suburbs

I baked. chocolate and pear tarts with caramel sauce.

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Friday, 4 April 2008

day 6

la defenseArche de la Défense. it's like being on a set of blake 7.

this city has always struck me as one of contradictions: so revealing but only available superficially for visitors. so open in it's beauty it's almost sleight of hand, but full of sneaky surprises if you can drag yourself away from the seductive.
which is a challenge in itself. an editor told me that in film you can only use a breathtaking shot if you use it for less time than you want. too much is, frankly, too much. I don't usually subscribe to that on stage - but this city has me thinking.

la Défense is certainly not beautiful. nor is it revealing. but it's good to know that even the french can miss the point once in a while. it has to be seen to be believed. I can't capture it: singapore meets dr who.

la defense

gordon took this one...


Thursday, 3 April 2008

day 5


still not sleeping: so spent all day at home except to go out and find this strange square.
I took this for leesa - I thought she'd like it.

yesterday I failed the basic beginners french test at the alliance francais. spectacular failure is always disappointing.
we ate goat's cheese to feel better, sold by a man in a tiny shop who wrapped it in soft, white paper.
attention to detail is lovely. it melted and cheered us. the wine helped too...



Wednesday, 2 April 2008

day 4

in the suburbsfinally into paris and cité des arts (at the right of this shot). it took an hour - but the colour hasn't changed.

still grey and wet. but even wet, grey and full of dog shit, this city can take away your breath.
no matter how many times you have been here.

if inspiration doesn't come here, then it's gone forever. I'm holding my breath...

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

day 3

political poster

colour is shocking here.


Monday, 31 March 2008

day 2

jet-lagstill in the suburbs. jetlag is always hard when it's rainy and cold...

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Sunday, 30 March 2008

day 1

in the suburbsjust arrived off the plane. we are staying in the suburbs of paris.


about this project

this project started as a way to communicate with home. I'd been awarded the australia council cité des arts choreographic residency in paris for three months, and I wanted to find a way of keeping in contact that would also map my time here.

and so I decided to take a photograph each day I was in paris and send a link to it to a group of people who wanted to receive it. the rules were simple: I had to take the photograph, my equipment would remain simple - a small digital camera, and it would be posted the day I took it so there was an element of real time for the receivers.

these photographs, though simplistic, are a document that map, trace and record movement in this city: experiences, discoveries, settlings, revelations and very often failings.

I also wanted to make sure there I left space to talk about ideas that come from all of that. later when people started responding, I transferred them to a medium where people could leave comments. and so the project became something different. a document yes, but also a discussion.

I am a dance person and my work usually involves people: dancers, collaborating artists, theorists and audience. my main interest is how we communicate: my chosen medium is performance. that's not to say that I always work in traditional spaces - my work ranges from dance in proscenium arch theatres to site specific performances in dis-used brickworks to installation pieces in old buildings. whatever medium tells the story best. and this time it seems to be a visual, virtual space coupled with the daily ritual of opening up a photograph.

while there is a group who receive the image each day, anyone is welcome to drop in at any time and see what's happening. but this small group (which is growing) is part of a performance-like project, each opening the same image, received at the same time, all connected to me somehow. they are my partners in crime: by their comments, their thoughts, their emails sent directly to me, the links they think I might like.

so, join us if you like. there are a few days left in this revealing city.

receive the daily photographic link

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