Photos, Videos, Films - Images of Us

photo: metro chatelet at rivoli
Ordinary scene, ordinary day in November;
in an unordinary town.

More Photos Than You Can See

Paris:- Saturday, 14. November 1998:- for a person who spends a lot of time walking around looking for subjects to photograph, you might think I am a bit indifferent to photographs.

In a way, this is true. I like to look at good photos. Like good art of any kind, what is arrestingly 'good' is rare. So what it comes down to, is looking for good photographs. A lot of time can be spent doing this searching.

My choice currently is to look for subjects, because this magazine needs illustrations which show Paris as it is today. I can't say I spend as much time doing this as I would care to, but I spend most of the time I am in the city, doing it.

I like doing it too. Although quite a lot of time can pass before snatching a real jackpot of an image, the hunt is worth it. One of the big payoffs at the moment - or maybe later, working the photo over - is the surprise effect. One in a hundred, or two hundred photos, I actually like.

The rest are okay and they 'do their job,' but I'm really doing it for the jackpots, as rare as they are.

Paris' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition

This annual event kicked off late last month, startingphoto: victor hugo in jersey with Edmond Bacot and Olivier Mériel's photos of Victor Hugo, which can be seen at the Maison de Victor Hugo in the Place des Vosges, until 24. January 1999.

'Victor Hugo Dans le Rocher des Proscrits' was taken by Charles Hugo in 1853. ©Photothèque des Musées de Paris

'Ceci est Paris,' another theme show, is in the city's own home of cultural affairs, at their hôtel at 31. rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the fourth. Until Wednesday, 25. November.

The 2nd 'Salon Paris Photo' also has a theme, 'Regards Construits,' but is a group of 80 gallery operators and publishers from 15 countries, who are having 'Open Doors' at the Carrousel du Louvre, from Friday, 20. November until Monday, 23. November. Generally open until 20:00 or to 22:00 on Friday evening.

Altogether, during November there will be 79 photo exhibitions at 61 locations around Paris. This will not be entirely 'Paris-in-love- with-itself' - there will also be photos of old Moscow, and an exhibition of soviet views of themselves from 1917 to 1981.

'Vincennes-Maillot' is a photo exhibition which retraces the building of the first métro line, 100 years ago. This collection was originally shown at the 1900 Universal Exposition, and the recently re-discovered photos have been restored. On view at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal until Sunday, 6. December. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 to 18:30 and on Sundays from 11:00 to 19:00. At 21. boulevard Morland, Paris 4. Métro: Sully-Morland. No entry charge.

Other important exhibitions, including films and videos on weekends, can also be seen, at the Maison Européenne de la Photo, 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

There are too many individual events and locations for them to list here. Luckily we have the Web and the Mois de la Photo has its own site, where there should be a complete program.

Jacques Offenbach's 'Monsieur Choufleuri - Mesdames debrochure: offenbach in boulogne la Halle' is playing at two different locations in December. Offenbach was the creator of the 'Bouffes Parisiens,' starting in the mid-19th century, and was so popular his works are still often performed.

The first run is at the Studio-Théâtre d'Asnières-sur-Seine, from Tuesday, 1. December to Sunday, 6. December. Info. Tel.: 01 47 90 95 33. This is followed by a second run at the Centre Culturel de Boulogne-Billancourt, from Tuesday, 15. December until Sunday, 20. December. Info. Tel.: 01 55 18 45 85.

Festival d'Art Sacré: - 'Les Femmes et le Sacré' is the subtitle of this series of concerts with singers, which begins Thursday, 19. November and continues to a midnight mass on Thursday, 24. December, with the Moscow Ice Circus, at their location on the Pelouse de Reuilly. Métro: Porte Dorée.

Reservations can be made by writing to the 'Festival d'Art Sacré,' 14. rue de Madrid, 75008 Paris. Tickets are also available at fnac and the Virgin Megastore. Info. Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10. The program is a big one, and you might find details for it on Metropole's links page, at the official Paris Web sites.

Issey Miyake: - the pioneer of 'métissage,' but otherwise known as one of the most inventive clothing designers we have at the end of this century. An exhibition is on display until 17. January, at the Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain, 261. boulevard Raspail, Paris 14. Métro: Raspail. Tel. Info.: 01 42 18 56 51.

Cashemires Parisiens: - Because Josephine liked to wear cashmere shawls, all the chic ladies liked them too. There were so many of these that imports couldn't meet the demand, so European manufacturers decided to make imitations - and this lead to a whole new industry, and a collaboration between designers and the fabric makers. I suspect there's more to the history than this - namely the turn from hand-fashioned clothes made from imported fabrics, to the industry we have today. This show is subtitled 'A l'Ecole de l'Asie 1810 - 1880.'

Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris, 10. avenue Pierre-1er-Serbie, Paris 16. Metro: Iéna or Alma-Marceau. Open from 10:00 to 18:00, except Mondays and certain public holidays. Final day is 28. February 1999. Info. Tel.: 01 47 20 85 23.

Le Passé Recomposé: - In the middle of one of Paris' fancier gardens, there is an exhibition of multimedia projects, which show the re-constituted past - that is, the historic past. This is done with virtual images and it allows three-dimensional views of even historic sites that have long disappeared. This includes the Bagatelle's own first 'Folie.'

brochure: arickxLydie Arickx: - is all I know about this artist, except that her illustration shown here is an oil on paper called 'Gisant Crucifié,' and it is really large at 230 by 290 centimetres. This exhibition can be seen at the Convent des Cordeliers, 15. rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. The show starts on Wednesday and runs until Sunday, 10. January. Open daily except Mondays, from 11:00 to 19:00.

Trianon de Bagatelle
Route de Sèvres-à-Neuilly, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Métro: Pont de Neuilly or Porte Maillot and take the bus 244. This exhibition continues until Sunday, 6. December. Open daily except Tuesday, from 11:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 45 01 20 10.

Festival Portugais: - The Ile-de-France has a sizeable population of Portuguese extraction. At this time of year there is sort of a month-long festival, with theatre, music, dancing and food and drink, of course. I do not have many details, but here are a few:

Seventh 'Festival de Théâtre Portugais,' in several theatres, in Portuguese and in French. Some authors are Fernando Pessoa, Dario Fo and Gil Vincente. The organization is by the Collective Portugaises de France, 20. rue Henri Barbuse, 93300 Aubervilliers. These events go on until Friday, 20. November. Info. Tel.: 01 48 34 72 67, or email to

The seventh 'Forum de Cap Magellan' - which deals with study, culture and society - takes place from 27. to 29. November, at the Espace Champerret, Paris 17. Métro: Porte de Champerret. Info. Tel.: 01 42 77 46 89.

The Museums Invite You: - The 8th edition of 'l'Invitation au Musée' has 'Le Musée, une Monde d'Images' as its theme this year; featuring everything photographic in the public collections, whether artistic or documentary. The audiovisual side is also on view as is the newer area known as 'multimedia.' The 'l'Invitation au Musée' program continues until Tuesday 22. November.

Giacometti, Richier, Gutfreund: - were otherwise known as 'Bourdelle et Ses Elèves,' this show presents the works of some of Bourdelle's students; Alberto Giacometti, Germaine Richier and Otto Gutfreund. Bourdelle gave courses from 1909 until his death in 1929, at the Academie de la Grand Chaumière - Montparnasse's most famous art school in the '20's.

Musée Bourdelle
18. rue Antoine-Bourdelle, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse or Falguière. On until 7. Februarybrochure: pierre mantra exhibition 1999. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily, closed on Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 49 54 73 73.

Pierre Mantra - is a Swiss painter, represented in an exhibition entitled 'Solve Coagula,' which is a series of paintings done from 1994 to 1998. This exhibition continues until Thursday, 31. December. To be seen at the Galerie Selmersheim, 9.-11. rue Sainte-Anastase, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Sébastien Froissart; the Musée Picasso. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 14:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 61 07 46.

Paris' L'Automne Italien

Sauver Assise!

Assisi was shaken to bits by two earthquakes on 26. September 1997, and the Saint-Francis church - opened in 1253 - was severely damaged. This exhibition shows the extent of the damage; plus there are 60 artworks from Assisi, dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. For the restoration, the entry to this exhibition is free, but donations are welcome.

Musée du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston-Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73. This exhibition opens on Saturday, 14. November and continues until 14. February 1999.

Paris' Italian autumn has already started, with Tiepolo in the Petit Palais and with paintings by Tintoretto. Thirteen are on loan from Venice and the others from French collections. These are being displayed in the Salle des Fêtes in the Mairie of the 5th. At 21. place du Panthéon, Paris 5. Until Wednesday, 13. December. Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 17:45 and on Sundays and holidays from 14:00 to 17:45. Info. Tel.: 01 43 29 21 75.

Lorenzo Lotto - Grand Palais

Another one of Italy's 'most important' painters joins the crowd in Paris for this Italian season, and Lotto is right up there with the better-known group of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. This is Lotto's first major exhibition in France, and the works are assembled here from a variety of Italian treasure houses.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Entry square Jean Perrin, on the west side. Except Tuesdays, open daily by reservation from 10:00 to 13:00; afterwards, by standing in line until 20:00, and 22:00 on Wednesdays. Closed Friday, 25. December. This exhibition's last day is 11. January 1999. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Gustave Moreau - Grand Palais

Gustave Moreau has divided followers; those who admire his skill as a painter and fanatic of detail, often going over the border o kitsch; and those who admire his imagination, who see it as going over the border to surrealism.

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