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.
Posts Tagged ‘59 rue de Rivoli’
After three days of sitting very close to the open mouths of saxophones and trumpets, today I’m editing photos in silence, saving my ears for tomorrow night when Nicolas Genest plays at the Zebre in Belleville, with many invited guests, Célinn (below) possibly being one of them.
Célinn et l’Arbre des Songes
Mario Forte, visually and musically captivating.
Surprise guest Jean-Loup Longnon blew me away with his trumpet playing, and then again after hours, spontaneously on the piano.
Not an easy place to play, but rather a rite of passage at 59 Rivoli… a jam session with Antoine Beux in the Musée Igor Balut, a creation of the artist inconnu, Suisse Marocain.
More info on the festival : Jazz Pas Grave.
Loosely defined, a plethora of genres, a place for musicians to meet and collaborations to form…. In two weeks I’ll be photographing a three-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. These guys will be playing. Les Guappecarto. They are lovely subjects to have in front of the camera. Gorgeous music too.
When he makes art his insides come out – through his voice, through his hands, in painting, installation or music – and it appears to be as natural as breathing.
An illustrative story…one night we were at a jazz club. One of those on rue des Lombards. It was more or less a jam session night. He went out to smoke, and when he came back inside he made a B line straight for the stage and started playing the congas. I didn’t know he’d met one of the musicians outside, who invited him up to play. What I saw was my friend boldly going on stage without a word and playing like his life depended on it. Shy people like myself are in awe of such confidence and would like it to rub off.
This was Manu last year.
He still smiles like he did when I met him.
Manu’s site, for a look into his twisted universe.
This year’s Nuit Blanche was as enchanting as last year’s was bizarre. In the center of Paris, on a shopping street across from an H&M and a McDonald’s, two Italian trapeze artists made us all feel like kids again.
On Saturday night, Monsieur Marco Mannucci and Madame Alessandra Lanciotti, of the group Mattatoio Sospeso, performed their piece entitled Commedia Volante, while suspended from the facade of 59 rue de Rivoli, accompanied by violin, accordion and roaring traffic.
It was one of the most fun & magical things I’ve seen quite some time.
I went up to the second floor to see one of my favorite people and he was gone. I hear he’s in Les Vosges or somewhere east, working for five months. I guess the tai chi lessons will be on hold for a while. This photo is from a few days before, when I found him making magic in the third floor kitchen.
You’re going to think I’m exaggerating but Slimane is sunshine. He’s gone through some difficult times since I’ve known him but I have never seen him down or upset. It must happen, for as far as I can tell he’s human, but he’s able to maintain a positive, balanced perspective. He is always quick with a joke, laughing, caring, smiling and Sincere. Usually when you walk into his studio he offers you a beer.
I have never walked away from him with a frown. And in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever walked towards him with a frown, for once I see him I can’t help smiling. As you do when the sun comes out on a cloudy day.
Two weekends ago I photographed a 3-day jazz festival at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. During these days it occurred to me that jazz just may heal all wounds. There is music that can open wounds and even inflicts wounds, music that reminds you of old wounds, and music that reminds you of what has already healed.
In any mood, on any day, jazz is welcome to my ears. Of course, there is a huge range within it and I have a preference for the 50s (ah, imagine driving in a 1954 Panhard Dyna Z listening to Buddy Murrow…). But sometimes the right medicine is simply a freely traveling saxophone (Isaac Kemo can make his growl) or the muffled voice of a trumpet to take me away. And other times I crave jumping ragtime, funk or soul, something highly improvised or something slow and blue. The uniqueness of the genre, in my life, is that I will never say no to it.
Exception: free jazz is only desirable live.
He discreetly introduced himself and his band members to a very full house at 59 Rivoli last night. He spoke of being told as a child in the Ivory Coast that music is a universal language and that tonight he was laying this offering at our feet. From then on he spoke mostly jazz to our grateful ears.
Near the end of the set, he suddenly leaned over me, gently picked up my camera and set it aside, and took my hand. For a lovely moment we danced. He, me and that beautiful sax.
I spent the weekend photographing a classical music festival at 59 (click here for the story of 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris). It was an ambitious undertaking, with concerts in the ground-floor gallery every hour, 10 hours a day, as well as performances on all six floors. It was open to the public and all completely free, or however much you felt like contributing.
A piano was somehow maneuvered into Suisse’s Musée Igor Balut, where Lise Charrin was playing Bach and Scarlatti.
Delightfully bizarre. That was Nuit Blanche 2010 at cinquante-neuf in Paris. Live music playing off the second-floor balcony, and alternatively in the ground-floor gallery . . . 20-second street performances in the middle of rue de Rivoli . . . collaborative painting on trucks and toile . . . men dressed scalp to toe in spandex bodysuits, all colors of the rainbow, plus camouflage . . . artists invited for one-night shows throughout 30 ever-evolving studios . . . spontaneous musical collaborations . . . and weaving through all of it, Paul Toupet‘s tireless team of dancing, traffic-stopping rabbits.
He was that guy over there with the moustache who I felt looking at me, sometimes smiling, but never speaking. Italian, French, Spanish?
I didn’t see him again.
Months later he is sitting suddenly in front of me, smiling, eager to talk, having just returned from Italy. A new resident artist at 59.
He often has a smile like the tip of an iceberg of a story.
A story he doesn’t reveal to me. Not in words.
While setting up to shoot some portraits yesterday, the inspectors passed through doing an état des lieux.
As they were standing in my line of fire, we took a couple of photos together. This is number two. After seeing number one, I said let’s do another, parce que j’ai des grosses fesses. Hence, the posture of Aliocha…
I adore these guys. They are good friends, talented artists, inspiring human beings and they make me laugh!
Or maybe he just likes to play…
François Poisson works and plays at 59 rue de Rivoli.
He shares clay and paint,
and will make room for you at his table
if you’re nice.
So much happened since I last posted, it has left me at times without words, but now I’ll find them.
On my birthday, les Omnis arrived in Paris. Beautiful coincidence.
Poets, artists, musicians.
From Cuba, on a European tour.
An extension of their Festival de Poesia Sin Fin.
Friends of my friend Sara Roumette (journalist who spent much time in Cuba), it was arranged that they use my studio at 59 rue de Rivoli for one of their performances because the gallery was occupied by Ruban Vert. The magic of photo studios, you can transform them into anything you want. I was thrilled to be useful.
From the moment Nilo, Amaury and Luis Eligio walked in (a 4th member didn’t get permission to leave Cuba), I could see these people were awake, alive, excited, participating in life with full hearts. They’ve worked together for 15 years, have friends all around the world and connect directly, hands-on. People so open are a strong contrast in Paris.
That evening after their performance it took us three hours to walk just over two miles. Everything was new for them, and their interaction with it was energizing for us.
After Paris, they went to Barcelona and there the trip was cut short. Papers. Bureaucracy. A premature return to Cuba. If that wasn’t disappointing enough, they just sent out an email with recent news. When they arrived in Havanna they were “randomly” searched (all three of them) and all of their belongings were confiscated : disk drives, computers, memory cards, cameras, poems, paintings, all images from their tour, all of their work and private correspondence. For 30 days their belongings will be held hostage.
Poets, artists, strip-searched and held for six hours. For what? For thinking differently? For behaving as free-thinkers? For inspiring people in Amsterdam, Denmark, Prague, Paris and Barcelona?
Thousands of kilometers away, this leaves me feeling helpless.
Sometimes, when you think life can’t get any better, a piano rolls through the door and everything changes.
Thursday night’s vernissage of Vagabond Gallery’s Barbès Pas Grave II found us painting on Gaki and dancing to rag-time. TOUT est possible à Paris, don’t listen to Parisiens who say otherwise.
The list of creatives showing work included myself, Gaki, Adulkid, Yasuyo Iso, Kana Ueno, Etsuko Kobayashi, Sebastien Lecca, Kim Quach and Michel Vray.
During a pause in the action, I’m talking to a German artist about her self-explorations in super-8 while someone orders a piano.
Turns out, Philippe Bas doesn’t go anywhere without his upright.
And I thought my camera bag was heavy.
At least I don’t have to worry about parking.
The excitement and anticipation, while he pushes his piano into place, makes it feel like Christmas morning with Saint Nick making a surprise personal visit. And he hadn’t even played anything yet! Somehow we knew.
This music just makes people HAPPY.
At 59 we sometimes paint on the walls.
Tonight the artist hosted by our gallery painted in the street.
Emmanuel Flipo likes to throw pigments to the wind.
Flipo’s exhibition will be on view in the gallery until May 2nd.
59 rue de Rivoli, 75001. Paris.
Back from the sea with burnt forehead.
I moved my studio today.
By the grace of coincidence I’m taking over a small space just next to my old one at 59 Rivoli, that has been prematurely liberated. I will have a corner! I’ve been working in a rather small space, though I am quite used to working in closets. This one was basically a hallway.
Left-to-right, it was . . .
Demain soir je fête mes six mois de résidence au 59 rue de Rivoli,
j’exposerai le travail résultant de ce temps,
les images attendus mais plutôt inattendus,
autour d’un apéro, partagé avec des amis
nouveaux, de longtemps et pas encore connus.
A Paris? Vous êtes bienvenus.
The Vagabond Gallery is back!
For five days only, and with more events possibly to follow.
Tonight it opened with the usual suspects from 59 rue de Rivoli, plus a good crowd of friends and colleagues. The nomadic event is held in temporarily unused spaces in Paris and transformed for short-periods into a gallery. Terry Milgrom and Vincent Ange are the primary organizers, but it takes a village of artists to make it happen.
This one will be around until Sunday, with the finissage being Saturday night.
98 rue Doudeauville, 75018, Metro Château Rouge
I was looking at those brown doors last night, remembering their old red, yellow and purple and thought, when are we going to paint them?
A little while later, while contemplating my collage in the 4th floor hallway, Gaki walked by holding a tall paintbrush with a bright dab of yellow at the end. There was a matching dab on his cheek.
What are you up to? I asked.
He said, with his characteristic smile, on peins la porte, viens.
(We’re painting the door, come.)
You don’t have to tell me twice.
“Also Women Can Paint” : Suisse Marocain
It’s been Italian week at 59. The gallery is hosting three artists (Antonio Bonura, Marianna Mendozza and Angelo Maisto) who drove up to Paris last weekend. We’ve simultaneously had Guappecarto (longtime friends of 59) play concerts here in the gallery, at New Morning and at L’International. The rhythm of the language is the air and the Tuscan wine is flowing.
Yesterday I arrived at 59 needing desperately to make photos. I set up my lights fast, trying not to trip visitors with my cables (high Sunday afternoon traffic), and ran down to the gallery to propose a quick shoot with Marianna, Saverio, Angelo, Tony and his dog Rocco before the concert started.
After those spontaneous portraits, I ran down to the gallery where Guappecarto had started playing. If you are in Paris and you don’t know them already, check ’em out. The first time I heard them play was also the day I entered 59 Rivoli for the first time. On the inspiration scale, this day was seriously high.
The Guappecarto guys are charming as hell and play with a passion that translates emotion into sound in a direct line from their hearts to ours. I’m kind of a fan. The music can be soothing, but it’s also got an energy inspiring to action, to creation, to dance, to do SOMETHING… and a bit of dreaming of the sea, and late nights in Italy. Their passion is matched by their humor and hearing their music live is some kind of nourishment that words can’t match.
Thanks everyone who came by 59 last night for our residents’ group show! For those who couldn’t pass through the gallery at 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris, you still have time! The show will hang until February 14th, when it will end with some young, energetic musical accompaniment.
And, a word about 59 and what it means to me, in a way I may have not said before…
It’s sort of a dream to me to be a resident in this building, a place I first encountered in maybe 2001 or 2002, a naive Midwestern girl roaming Paris, thinking “I will live here.” I couldn’t wrap my mind around how the existence of an artist squat was possible (you mean you just stay and not pay rent? how do you get away with that?), and I didn’t know that’s what this extravagantly decorated building at number 59 was.
What I saw that day, standing on the sidewalk among the shoppers on Rivoli, was freedom. Freedom manifested in a way I had never seen before. Freedom, action, creation, coming out of every window and crevice. My gut emotional response was, YES!
That day the front door was closed and I went about my dreamy wanderings. It wasn’t until 2005 that I saw the inside. It didn’t disappoint. Globally, it was colorful chaos, like a marathon five-hour French-style Christmas feast for the eyes. It was warm like sitting around a fire with friends. It had high collective energy and I wanted a key.
In 2006 I saw the building be emptied, in 2009 I saw it re-filled (sorry, skipping a lot in between), and now in 2010 it’s a place where my personal work is taking a new turn. 59, and the people who created and continue to create it, have inspired me with their talent, friendship and encouragement. My life wouldn’t be the same if we hadn’t crossed paths.
On that note, a few photos from the last couple days.