Lumière instantanée

April 10th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

There’s a bookstore in paris, le 29, where I always get inspired. I could easily spend 300€ in a blink each time I go. But I don’t. I browse, I get inspired, my heart grows.

And, each time I look for that Andreï Tarkovski book. I know exactly where it is, and like an old friend, I greet it on every visit, but for whatever reason, I never buy it.

But the other day I went to the bookshop window to check out their display and was draw inside by a new book from the photographer JR. Once inside, having just opened the book, I thought of the Tarkovski. I put down JR and went straight over and bought it.

Why is this book special? It consists of Polaroids – mostly landscapes, his wife Larissa, son Andreï and dog Dak – and bits of text, which seem to hold hands across the page like dear friends, each saying different things and together arriving at something more. His sensitivity touches me deeply and I can spend time with each photo, I want to wander into them. They’re not two dimensional. And neither is his writing. His thoughts on where ideas come from, what a photo is or isn’t, and where we are in the universe resonate with me like the title, in a flash of light.

Nous sommes crucifiés dans une seule dimension,
quand l’univers, lui, est multi-dimensionnel.
Nous le sentons, et souffrons
de ne pouvoir connaître la vérité.
Mais connaître n’est pas nécessaire.
Ce qu’il faut, c’est aimer.
Et croire.
Car la foi, c’est la connaissance par l’amour.

Experimenting in Cyanotype

April 7th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

This week blue is my favorite color. I mixed twice as many chemicals as I needed, so I’ll be coating a lot of paper and printing several new negatives, starting with printing the DesCollages series in blue.

Cyanotype from the DesCollages series, an out-take from the B-pile

Thirst

March 12th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Deep in the sea are riches beyond compare.
But if you seek safety, it is on the shore.
-Saadi, Rose Garden

Self Portrait in Barry Jones' studio

Self Portrait in Barry Jones’ studio

Francesco at 59

March 5th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Francesco has such an expressive face,
and you never know what to expect when you photograph him.

Francesco draped in my backdrop

Francesco draped in my backdrop

rue des Déchargeurs

February 20th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

DesCollages on rue des Déchargeurs.

It’s a short street in front of 59 rue de Rivoli, named siége des Déchargeurs in 1300, for the workers (déchargeurs) unloading stock for Les Halles market. You can’t see it here in the dark, but on the left at number 3 is the Théâtre des Déchargeurs. Built in 1708, the wiki page has photos of the façade by Eugene Atget. How wonderful it would be to have an Atget app for smartphones. Someone must be working on that. I hope someone is working on that.

Rue des Déchargeurs, Paris.  February, 2014.

Rue des Déchargeurs, Paris. February, 2014.

A brief history of 59

February 1st, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Tonight Arthur LeCaron projected his film on the history of the artist squat at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. He was there in November 1999 when it was first occupied by the KGB (Kalex, Gaspard & Bruno) and has a feast of rare footage. The film is narrated by Gaspard Delanoë, who was there tonight in the gallery to present it to us.

Gaspard on a payphone negotiating with the Mayor's office in the first months.

Gaspard on a payphone negotiating with the Mayor’s office in the first months.

Poetry from the evidence

January 15th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

This is the greeting card I’m sending out for 2014, taken at the Théâtre de la Pleine Lune this summer, on a full-moon night when Malavika Klein danced Bharata Natyam for us. It is a dance I had no experience with, a dance so rich in imagery, a real poetry expressed through the human body.

I look at it and think about what I want from my photography, what I want it to contribute to the world. Magic comes to mind. Moments of magic. Like when Robert Frank, in the November 1951 issue of Life said, “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

And when Jay Maisel said, “There was a phrase that Arthur Miller used – ‘I’m trying to create the poem from the evidence.’ I’m not trying to change anything that’s in front of me, I’m trying to give it respect and I’m trying to call attention to it.”

I want my photos to be a place you want to spend time. A space of grace and light. And if I see these qualities where someone else does not, I hope I can be an effective translator.

Out of the vortex

January 7th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Some Illinois landscapes
pre-winter cold vortex

Winter fireworks

December 29th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

For the 2nd year, one of the cutest towns in the United States, Kirkwood, Missouri, sets off holiday fireworks. Last year they were left-overs from a 4th of July that was too dry. It was such a hit, it has become a new tradition!

Fireworks in front of the Kirkwood, Missouri City Hall.

Fireworks in front of the Kirkwood, Missouri City Hall.

Jetlag

December 18th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

It makes you see strange things
like a man taking out the garbage.

For Saul

December 1st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

My humble homage to Saul Leiter.
I’m so sad he’s gone and so grateful he existed.

Pink umbrella at Place de la République.

Pink umbrella at Place de la République.

DesCollages, la suite

November 18th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

The photo festival, Les Rencontres Photographiques du 10e, continues for another couple of weeks in Paris, and I’ve been out again enlarging the circle of my street exhibition.

There is a map here: DesCollages Map
(though it now includes rue Bichat, near metro Jacques Bonsergent, and also farther west to the Passage des Petites Ecuries, great place to go for drinks and dinner btw.)

DesCollages no. 8 rue Bichat

DesCollages no. 8
rue Bichat

DesCollages no. 4, and what we photograph. Passage des Petites Ecuries

DesCollages no. 4,
and what we photograph.
Passage des Petites Ecuries

DesCollages no. 7  rue Bichat

DesCollages no. 7
rue Bichat

DesCollages no. 9   (La Penseuse)   Blvd Magenta

DesCollages no. 9
(La Penseuse)
Blvd Magenta

Peau de dieu dans les fesses & singeries on my desk

November 7th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

I’ve just re-organized my office and the surface area
of my desk has expanded to include the collage corner. (smile)

So while I’m working on something serious, I can look over
and construct a phrase like, “Le secret des origines est
dangereusement épicé.”

La Penseuse qui pleure

October 20th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

Je ne sais pas si c’est de la colle ou de la pluie,
mais elle semble pleurer
et ça me plais.

I don’t know if it’s from the glue or the rain,
but she seems to be crying,
and I like it.

Rencontres dans la rue

October 17th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

In participation with Les Rencontres Photographiques du 10e arrondissement in Paris, a selection of 9 photos from my DesCollages series can be spotted around the 10th district from now until the end of November. If you see any of them, take a shot and send it to me! Or better, post it to me here: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleVoirin

If you’re in Paris, come by La Petite Louise Friday night, October 18th at 19h, across the street from La Mairie. We’ll be having an opening upstairs and giving away one of the posters!

Approaching Another Nuit Blanche

October 1st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin
Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

Climbing up to the 6th floor of 59 rue de Rivoli.

This Saturday is the annual Nuit Blanche in Paris. In French Nuit Blanche means an all-nighter, staying out until you see the bright sun rise, and this night is a city-wide festival of art and installation, music and happenings. I am usually photographing at 59 rue de Rivoli, the former artist squat, and this year you can find me there again. In looking back over the past years’ images, these are a few of my favorites, all based on contemporary dance and performance.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below.  Nuit Blanche 2011.

Mattatoio Sospeso performing their trapeze act on the façade of 59 rue de Rivoli, with the audience seated on the sidewalk below. Nuit Blanche 2011.


More images of Mattatoio Sospeso’s magical performance
here: Commedia Volante

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche, 2012.

Improvisational dance troupe performing in the 3rd floor studios. Nuit Blanche 2012.

Paul Toupet's group of dancing & drinking rabbits.  Nuit Blanche 2010.

Paul Toupet’s group of dancing & drinking rabbits. Nuit Blanche 2010.


More photos from the night when 59 was visited by
Paul Toupet and the Zentai here.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

Gaëlle Bourges and her collaboratrices performing a satirical striptease in and around a block of 3 phone booths in the center of Chatelet, on a night when there was an important soccer match and much testosterone flowing in the streets. Nuit Blanche 2007.

More photos from that night here.
And more of Gaëlle’s work here.

Des années

September 24th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

Ten years have now passed, since I changed countries. I’m almost breathless, looking back, seeing who I was, who I think I was, and who and where I thought I would be today. People make ten-year plans, I never have. I have dreams but I don’t give them deadlines. I was impatient with the Paris dream. I tried once, it was all set up, seemingly perfect, and then fell through just after the Twin Towers. I let it go. And maybe it’s like they say about the people you love. Let them go and they may come back to you. I let the dream rest, though never stopped desiring it, never stopped saying out loud what the ideal situation would be.

I changed paths, out of necessity, and became reacquainted with another dream, one not linked to a particular city, one that could be initiated right where I was.

In looking for a starting point, I jumped through numerous hurdles to get to where I thought I should begin, and when it was my turn to sign up, all seats were taken. But it was vital for me to begin, so I found a second-string starting point, one I judged as inferior but at least put me into action. The new plan-B-point-A would take me far, to where I wanted to be, because the room where my plan B started was where another person had entered by mistake and then decided to stay.

A relationship began, one that would bring me to Paris and then dissolve. A person came into and out of my life, enabling “the ideal” situation in between, which I had so often described out loud.

But a dream is maybe like having a photo of a tarte au citron meringuée when the reality is eating one. Except reality also requires you to learn to make the thing first, then savor it. And those are the ones you don’t forget.

These years have been a lot of work, and sometimes a real pain in the ass, but equally delicious.

I’m still working on the meringue.

Paris Techno Parade

September 14th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

Some moments from today’s Techno Parade in Paris.

Checking the up-do at the Techno Parade.

Checking the up-do at the Techno Parade.

Confetti over the crowd.

Confetti over the crowd.

Deep in the crowd, blvd des Filles du Calvaire, Paris.

Deep in the crowd.

Taking turns at sea

August 14th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

I’m editing a series of photos of people in landscapes. Quiet, psychological images talking of introversion and extroversion, contemplative encounters & confrontations. More to come.

St Maries de la Mer, France.

St Maries de la Mer, France.

Suicidal butterfly

July 24th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

A light summer image of the little being I tried to save yesterday, but who insisted like a magnet, three times, on flying back into the swimming pool, thus ending up in the filter.

Suicidal pharaon

Suicidal pharaon

Elles : Je est une autre

July 15th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

Julien Martial is a magician. A book-object-making artist. I just picked up my copy of a book we collaborated on, with Jean-Jacques Lebel and three contortionists. Book isn’t quite the right word for it though. It’s a unique photo-book/poem-object, that when opened, reveals a series of photos strung together which spell out “Je est une autre.” (As opposed to Rimbaud’s “je est un autre.”) It was Jean Jacques’ idea, Julien’s conception of the final object and my photos. There are 16 copies, 10 that signed and numbered, and 6 artist proofs.

The book-object-poem closed.

The book-object-poem closed.

The book-object-sculpture open.

The book-object-sculpture open.

Title page.

Title page.

La caccia di lucciole

June 29th, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

I don’t think I’ve seen lightning bugs in years! Tonight they were like Christmas lights blinking around in the bamboo. I’m working in northern Tuscany, and tonight after dinner, and before a delicious crema di limoncello, we went out to try to touch them.

Lightning bugs in Bagni di Lucca.

Lightning bugs in Bagni di Lucca.

Alexandre

May 2nd, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

He is one of my favorite people. And he is in almost constant motion.

If he’s not biking through traffic with his hands in his pockets while talking on the phone, he’s reciting de Musset, quoting Guitry, or singing Les Noces de Figaro which he knows by heart. He shows you how to build giant moonlight reflectors for the Full Moon Theater, then teaches you to drive a tractor and jumps off to take your picture. He has big, beautiful ideas and all the energy and passion to make them manifest. On this night, I caught him motionless in the hallway, in the middle of stoking two separate fires.

Alexandre à Gourgoubès.  France, 2013.

Alexandre Camerlo à Gourgoubès. France, 2013.

A Reyna Aquarelle

May 1st, 2013 by Danielle Voirin

For two very fun years I shared a big loft with two painters from Argentina. I lived upstairs on the mezzanine, and they worked downstairs. It was a pretty raw space. We had a tiny improvised kitchen in one corner, a very aged red sofa in another and wonderful floor-to ceiling windows. No door separated our spaces, just a half-wall, over which I took these time-lapse photos of Martin Reyna making watercolors. I love seeing the process behind a piece of art, and I got to witness Martin’s practice daily. In celebration of his birthday today, here’s a selection from those days.

Feliz cumple Martin!

Martin Reyna painting a watercolor.  Paris, 2007.

Martin Reyna. Paris, 2007.