A reminder of why

June 30th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

I taped this to the wall across from my desk today. Someone once said this to me because he liked something I wrote.

Note to self: do the work, show up, even if you don’t know what you’re going to say. We all have something to share, even with only one other person. He or she may be waiting for it right now.

Jazz Pas Grave III, Day 2

June 16th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Some highlights from day 2…

Antonin Fresson, Quadri-Cor

Antonin Fresson, Quadri-Cor

Yoann Godefroy and singer Kephny Eliacin

Yoann Godefroy and singer Kephny Eliacin

Balthazar Regea, from Soma Age

Balthazar Regea, from Soma Age

Antoine and Martin Beux, with Jungles Key

Antoine and Martin Beux, with Jungles Key

Maxime Bureau, with Soma Age

Maxime Bureau, with Soma Age

Mac, the funny front man of Funk Me Tender

Mac, the funny front man of Funk Me Tender

Beautiful profiles in the crowd, just because

Beautiful profiles in the crowd, just because

Jazz Pas Grave, Day 1

June 14th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

While still processing last week’s classical music fest photos, this weekend I’m photographing Jazz Pas Grave, the 3rd edition of a festival at 59 Rivoli that brings some really fabulous musicians together. Some highlights while I’m waiting for the next concert to start…

Elbi Baueur singing with Radztitone in the opening concert of Jazz Pas Grave III

Elbi Baueur singing with Radztitone in the opening concert of Jazz Pas Grave III

Antoine Beux playing with Rising Cloud Orchestra

Antoine Beux playing with Rising Cloud Orchestra

Alessandro Sgobbio improvising

Alessandro Sgobbio improvising

Mario Forte

Mario Forte

And our energetic team of volunteers passing out the program in sidewalk traffic…

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Le Classique C’est pour les Vieux – Day 2

June 8th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

I spent day two of the classical music festival at 59 Rivoli filming and real-time editing the live stream. My ambition was to be photographer and videographer at once, but that really isn’t possible. Taking 25 photos a second on five different cameras, with my 6D around my shoulders, I photographed the screen in front of me. We had placed the cameras better than I was able to place myself. Here are some highlights of the Quoatuor van Kuijk and the Collectif Warning.

Sound check, van Kuijk quartet

Sound check, van Kuijk quartet

Sébastien van Kuijk and his cello, the van Kuijk quartet.

Sébastien van Kuijk and his cello, the van Kuijk quartet.

Grégoire Vecchioni and Sébastien van Kuijk , of the van Kuijk quartet

Grégoire Vecchioni and Sébastien van Kuijk , of the van Kuijk quartet

Olivier Stankiewicz, Carmen Lefrançois and Barbara Giepner, of the Collectif Warning

Olivier Stankiewicz, Carmen Lefrançois and Barbara Giepner, of the Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Sound painter Vincent LêQuang, Collectif Warning

Le Classique C’est Pour les Vieux – Day 1

June 7th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

Yesterday a 3-day classical music festival, which thinks outside of the box of what we might expect “classical” music to be, kicked off at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. This is the 3rd edition that I’ve photographed for them. This year two concerts were performed in the St Merri church, and the last concert of the night, Le Cabaret Contemporain, an electronic-dance-classical-move-your-body hybrid, transformed the 59 gallery into a nightclub.

The street performance with Léa Scher, Sabine Rivière and Luise Hakim interacts with curious pedestrian traffic

The street performance with Léa Scher, Sabine Rivière and Luise Hakim interacts with curious pedestrian traffic

Le Spat'sonore, 6th floor

Le Spat’sonore, 6th floor

Simone, Le Cabaret Contemporain

Simone Drappier, Le Cabaret Contemporain

During Le Cabaret Contemporain concert

Fabrizio Rat, pianist.  Le Cabaret Contemporain

Fabrizio Rat, pianist. Le Cabaret Contemporain

L'itinéraire, St Merri church

L’itinéraire, St Merri church

Duo Links performs 'Studi sulla note" in the St Merri church

Duo Links performs ‘Studi sulla note” in the St Merri church

7 months

May 27th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

I’m always surprised when they live so long. This was the first photo pasted for Les Rencontres Photo du 10e last October. It looks like a tiger has gotten to it, and the title has been removed and replaced with OAK (makes me think of the street artist OakOak? But not his style).

Cité Riverin, Paris.

Cité Riverin, Paris.

Rock star photographer

April 24th, 2014 by Danielle Voirin

When I was a kid I thought our family photographer was the same guy I heard singing on the radio. His name was Ron Stewart. I was only 3 or 4 and I thought it was incredible that he had these two different jobs.

I loved going to see him because he had this vast space (for a toddler) with a bunch of odd things in it, like tiny bird cages, old stuffed animals, fancy kid-sized furniture, and soft lamplight on dark walls that made it very cozy.

His method was to let children wander in this cabinet de curiosités and photograph them while they did it. Distracting parents waited outside (in today’s paranoid times that probably doesn’t happen much). At some point he would pose you, I know because we have the photos, but in my memory it was the time I spent wandering and discovering that stayed with me. In one session I found a teensy toy chick that I held in my hand the entire time. It was so soft. I wanted to keep it forever. I don’t know if he let me take it with me. That must have happened a lot.

Decades later, I still remember this day.

Decades later, I still remember this day.

I thought about Ron Stewart recently when I was photographing children hiding in the studios at 59 rue de Rivoli here in Paris. They were participating in making a clip for the Pharrell Williams song Happy. Observing the boy below, and his reaction to the disco ball sparkling in the sun reminded me of that little chick. If it were my disco ball, I would let him take it home.

Discovery in Suisse Marrocain’s cabinet de curiosités.

 

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.